meatless . #46 {roast pumpkin pear soup}

Last Friday, Michael and I ventured off to one of our neighborhood restaurant staples, Crow, for dinner. I know, we eat there often, but it is kind of nice to have a good restaurant close to home where we know we’ll consistently have great food in a fun, casual atmosphere and be able to relax. Plus, everyone that works there is so genuinely nice. Last week we ventured from our regular fare {Michael’s lasagna or rib eye and my pan roasted chicken} with whole roasted trout and wild boar ragu. But first, started the meal off with the soup du jour…pumpkin pear soup. I was dubious but the chef gave me a taste and he had me hook, line and sinker. These guys are hitting out of the park lately with their soups. I really, really wanted the recipe but since I had just asked them recently for their curried cauliflower soup, I enjoyed the soup and vowed I would try to make it at home. So here’s my winged version and I have to say…it turned out great. A big bowl of this soup with a nice salad and glass of white wine – great fall dinner.  Oh, and if you’re doing a more formal dinner for Thanksgiving, this would be a great starter.

Roast Pumpkin Soup
serves 6

2 sugar pie pumpkins, cut into quarters + seeded
4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, diced
2 ribs of celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 pears, peeled, cored + roughly chopped
2 cups dry white wine
4 cups vegetable {or chicken} stock
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
ground white pepper

Preheat oven to 400º.  Put pumpkin cut side up on a parchment lined baking sheet. Lightly season with salt and ground black pepper. Flip pumpkin quarters over, brush with 2 tbsp. of the olive oil and place in the oven. Roast for 20 minutes or until skin is golden brown and soft to the touch. Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle. 

In a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot, heat remaining olive oil and butter over medium high heat. Add onion, celery and garlic and saute for 4 minutes or until onion is translucent, but do not allow to brown. Remove skin from the pumpkin {it should easily just lift off}, roughly chop the flesh and add to the pot with the pears. Add wine and stock and bring to a boil then reduce heat. Simmer for 20 minutes to allow all the flavors to meld. 

Turn heat off and, using a hand blender, puree the soup until smooth. Return to medium heat. Add cinnamon, nutmeg and cream; mix well. Season with salt and white pepper to taste. Divide among bowls and season with a drizzle of olive oil and pinch of nutmeg if you’d like. The soup would also be great topped with some fresh, homemade croutons. 


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