Roasted Pumpkin and Pear Soup

This is a very simple soup you can whip up on a weekday evening after work or anytime you want a rich, thick, comforting, and delicious meal. If you do a few of the steps ahead of time, you can throw everything together at the last minute and have dinner on the table in only thirty minutes.


1 small sugar pumpkin
1 quart homemade chicken stock (or store bought)
4 ripe pears
2 tart apples
1 teaspoon grated ginger root
salt and pepper to taste
cayenne pepper (optional)
Whole milk yogurt or sour cream (optional)

A day or more ahead of time:
Preheat oven to 400F. Place whole pumpkin on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour. Poke pumpkin with a fork to test for doneness. Remove when soft. Allow to cool. Cut pumpkin in half to remove seeds and peel. Store in fridge.

Cut up pears and apples, removing seeds and core. (I like to leave skin on, but you can remove this, too, if you wish.) Place apples and pears in saucepan with ginger. Add a small amount of water to keep the fruit from sticking to pan. Cook on low heat for about 30-40 minutes or until everything is soft. Mash fruit to create a thick sauce. You can blend with an immersion blender to make smooth. Or leave it chunky, if you prefer.

To assemble the soup:
 Place pumpkin and stock in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Add pear/apple sauce. Continue to simmer for about 30 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne if desired. Blend the whole thing with an immersion blender if you prefer smooth soup to chunky. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.

To serve:
Spoon yogurt or sour cream into serving bowl. Ladle soup on top. Stir well and enjoy!