Butternut Squash Soup with Apple and Pear

I purchased a whole butternut squash ($1.99) at Trader Joe's a couple of weeks ago, stuck it in the Hoosier cabinet, and promptly forgot about it. Lucky for me, it didn't rot. It was perfectly firm today when I tossed it in the oven to make some soup.

You may remember that our apple and pear trees went wild this year, bearing way more fruit than we could possibly eat, cook, dehydrate, and freeze. I gave some away, but I still have 2 boxes of apples and pears on my counter. So I dug out a recipe which I haven't made in many years.

The butternut squash soup recipe originally came from the Ashby Inn in Virginia. I cut it out of a magazine probably close to twenty years ago, maybe more. I made it frequently back then. It was always a hit with my husband who likes creamy, pureed soups. I'm more a fan of chunky. But this soup is a keeper.

Anyway, I tinkered with this recipe just a tiny bit, in order to incorporate the pears. I happened to have almost every other ingredient on hand. The final product has a lovely sweetness and a silky texture. Here is my new version:


1 whole butternut squash, roasted until soft
2 T. butter
1 sweet onion, chopped
2-3 stalks celery, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
2 tart apples, chopped
2 ripe pears, chopped
5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 pinch nutmeg (optional)
1 quart chicken stock (or water)
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, melt butter over low heat. Add chopped vegetables and saute for 5-10 minutes. Add fruit and continue cooking another 5 minutes. Add herbs, salt, pepper, and stock. Bring to simmer and cook until everything is soft. Remove bay leaves. Add roasted butternut squash and pureed with handheld blender. Add heavy cream. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve hot. Makes at least 4-6 servings.