I did warn you that there might be a few recipes popping up for soup, but I was happy to see that it seems that it's not just me that is such a soupie, so here is soup number 2 of the season!
I recently received a large bag of pears from a family member whose tree was overloaded with the most perfect, juicy and delicious pears, so I instantly made up a big batch of this soup. It has a subtle hint of curry which I think just rounds it off perfectly but if you prefer you could miss it out. This soup is so delicious and elegant it would make an ideal starter for an Autumn dinner party. The pear crisps finish the soup off beautifully but you can easily give them a miss and serve it with either a drizzle off extra virgin olive oil or some crème fraiche or cream. Another perfect Autumn soup.
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 leek, cleaned & sliced
1 good sized butternut squash, seeds removed & cut into cubes
4 pears, cored and roughly chopped
2 tsp curry powder
1000ml vegetable or chicken stock (you might need to add more depending on how big your squash is, or if you prefer you could add some milk instead at the end)
Salt & pepper
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Perheat the oven to 300F/ 150C. Using a mandolin (or a very sharp knife and good knife skills!) thinly slice the pears so that you have beautiful thin pear slices – keeping the stock intact if you can. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper then lay the pears on top. Gently bake in the oven for roughly 1 hour 10 minutes, turning them half way through cooking. Keep an eye on them as depending on how thin you managed to cut them will affect the cooking time. You just want them to be dried and slightly crisp but with a little chewiness when you bite them. Leave to cool once ready.
While the pear crisps are cooking make the soup. Melt the butter with the oil in a large pan until sizzling. Add the onion and leek and cook for roughly 5 minutes until softened but not coloured. After 5 minutes add the garlic, squash, pears and curry powder and stir well. Cover with a lid and leave to gently sweat for 10 minutes. Add the stock and seasoning then leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes until the squash and tender when pierced with a knife. Leave to cool before blending to a velvety smooth soup. Taste to check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
When ready to serve gently reheat the soup until hot. Ladle into bowls then add 2 pear crisps (if using) and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and serve with crusty bread.