I also thought that this picture expresses nicely the nature of the the recipe for butternut squash soup that I am going to post today; hearty, simple, warming and flavorful.
Pick a nice butternut squash that you like (alternatively you can go for a sweet pie pumpkin as well). Notice that they all have different characters and moods; select the one that says "hello" to you.
To roast your squash: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the squash half lengthwise and scoop all the white seeds and strings. Place on a baking sheet, add some water (about a cup) and place to the oven. Roast until very soft when testing with a knife or lightly pressed with fingers, 30-45 min depending on the size of the squash.
I like to garnish the soup with roasted pumpkin seeds, also called pepitas. Pepitas are flat of dark green color with a sweet nutty flavor. They add a nice crunchy contrast to the soft and creamy texture of the soup. Place the seeds on a small skillet and roast over medium low heat, stirring constantly ( they burn easily if not watched closely!). Roast until they start "jumping off the pan" - they literally do that!! - and you smell an irresistible aroma. Don't be afraid that you roast too much... they are addictive and make a great snack packed with minerals, vitamins and healthy fats.
Butternut Squash, Ginger, Pear Soup
You will need:
2 tbs ghee
1 onion, diced
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice, ground
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 inch fresh ginger, minced
pinch of pepper flakes (optional)
2-3 very ripe pears, diced
4 cups vegetable broth, more if needed
6 cups mashed roasted butternut squash or sweet pie pumpkin (1 medium butternut squash)
1/4 tsp powdered ginger
salt, possibly lemon, to taste
roasted pumpkin seeds for garnish
Easy to make:
Melt ghee in a medium size pot over medium heat, add onion and saute until translucent, for 3-5 min (don't brown the onion). Mix in spices and continue to saute for another minute until fragrant. Add pears to the spiced onions and continue to saute until pears are soft and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Pour about 2 cups of the broth to the mixture and allow to simmer for 2-3 min. Turn the heat off.
Working in batches, blend pear mixture with butternut squash in a blender or a food processor. Add more broth to reach the desired consistency. The consistency of the soup shouldn't resemble baby food but should be thick enough to pour.
Return blended soup to the pot and reheat. Taste and season with ginger, salt and possibly little bit of lemon juice.
Garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds and enjoy!