This soup screams 'autumn' to me -- it's full of warm fall flavors and will make your kitchen smell amazing. This is one of those recipes with few ingredients but a big impact. Probably the first thing you taste is the ginger -- there's a lot of it in here, and it provides an awesome spicy kick. The squash and pears add sweetness, while a sprinkle of goat cheese on top contributes a creamy tang -- whole-milk yogurt would also work well in this role. This soup is the perfect way to warm up on a chilly autumn evening - serve with crusty bread and a salad for a complete meal.
Pear-Delicata Squash Soup with Ginger and Goat Cheese (adapted from Dinner with Julie, original recipe here)
1 large delicata squash
3 small pears
1 T butter
1 small onion, minced
1-inch knob of ginger, peeled and chopped
3-4 cups chicken stock
Crumbled goat cheese, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil.
2. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Quarter the pears and cut out the cores. There's no need to peel either one. Coat the baking sheet with a light layer of oil to prevent sticking, and then place the squash and pears cut-side-down on the foil. Roast about 15 minutes, and then test to make sure everything is tender. Let cool for a few minutes, and then peel off the skins - they should slip off the pears easily, and the squash flesh should scrape off the skins with a spoon.
3. Meanwhile, make the soup base. Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add a drizzle of oil along with the butter, and let the butter melt. Cook the onion for 7-8 minutes, until soft, stirring often. Add the ginger and cook for another minute.
4. When the squash and pears are ready, add them to the soup pot with the aromatics. Add 3 cups stock. Bring to a boil, and then puree with an immersion blender (or, let cool slightly and puree in a blender in batches). Add more stock if you prefer your soup to be thinner.
5. Add salt to taste, and then serve hot with goat cheese crumbled on top.