Honey Nut Squash and Pear Bisque
Wow, guys! It’s been awhile, huh? I swear I have a good excuse for my absence lately. It just happens that Adam and I have been moving. Ugh, I feel like my life has been endless moments of moving from one place to the next, but in all honesty, I love it! I find that staying in one place for too long makes me feel stagnant. It’s refreshing to change things up, put yourself in a new environment… and above all, clean out the closets and minimize your life. Surprisingly, we managed to collect a decent amount of stuff in the time we were in California. That dumpster diving habit of mine totally paid off 🙂 After disposing of a few items, we manage to pack a shipping container and send it on it’s way to Minnesota, our new home/old home. Yep, the two of us are headed back to the Midwest just in time for the snow and freezing weather to set in. Hurray!
Now that we’ve finally made it to our new destination, and the depression has worn off from leaving sunny California (just kidding, but seriously it was hard!), I couldn’t wait to get back into the kitchen and play with all of the amazing fall produce out there right now!!! I will admit that not having incredibly fresh abundant California produce at your disposal is breaking my heart (oh, and don’t even get me started about the wine), but Minnesota does not disappoint! So many varieties of squash, pumpkins, apples, pears, and vegetables are overflowing in the produce aisles!
These “Honey Nut” butternut squash are a new favorite of mine! Pint-sized versions of a regular butternut squash, bursting with sweet, nutty flavor; I could eat them exclusively this fall! Pears complement the squash perfectly in the rich, velvety bisque and when served in roasted squash, it’s the perfect accompaniment to any meal. Seriously, it’s a meal on its own, if you ask me! I know Thanksgiving is still weeks away, but if you are in the same state of mind that I am in and looking for menu ideas now, this soup will steal the show!
I’m seriously excited for Thanksgiving this year, I can hardly contain myself! We have some great posts coming your way, so keep an eye out. Apart from Christmas, Thanksgiving is definitely one of my favorite holidays… which makes the last two months of the year festive, amazing, and slightly expensive! Wow, the last two months of the year. I cannot believe I’m saying that. Where has this year gone to? In no time we will be ringing in 2017 and closing the door on this year. I need to stop before I get emotional. This year has been hard, but incredible and I’m not sure I want it to stop!
Hope everyone is having a great week and staying warm! We’ve had a few nice days since we’ve arrived in Minnesota, but the air is getting increasingly cold. Thank goodness for a warm bowl of “Honey Nut” Butternut Squash and Pear Soup, am I right?
- 6 small Honey-nut butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch cubes
- 6 Bartlett pears
- 1 turnip, trimmed, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 sprigs fresh sage
- 1 tsp salt, plus more if needed
- 5-6 cups chicken stock (enough to cover vegetables)
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- ½ cup + 2 tsp heavy cream
- 1 tsp freshly ground white pepper
- 6 - 8 sage leave
- 1 cup canola oil
- 6 - 8 small acorn squash or pumpkins
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Rub squash or pumpkins with olive oil. Place on sheet pan and cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes or until barely soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cool, cut off top of squash or pumpkin, to create a small lid. Scoop out seeded centers of the squash or pumpkins. Be very careful not to remove too much from bottom of squash. Set aside.
- While the squash or pumpkins are cooling, peel the 4 pears, cut in half and core. Place the pears, squash, turnip, sage and salt into a large stockpot (4-quart or more). Cover with chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until vegetable are tender.
- Discard sage. Strain liquid through a sieve, reserving liquid in a small sauce pan. Keep sauce pan on low heat. Puree solids in a blender or with an immersion blender (hand blender), adding up to ½ cups of the reserved liquid, if needed.
- Return puree to pot on a low simmer. Mix in 3-4 cups of the reserved liquid until desired consistency is reached. Whisk in cream and add salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.
- In a sauce pan, heat the oil to approximately 350 degrees. Add sage leaves in batches, frying for 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to burn. Place fried sage leaves on a plate layered with paper towels.
- To serve, place each squash or pumpkin bowl on a plate, leaning top of squash or pumpkin against bowl. Fill with Honey-nut Squash and Pear soup. Garnish each soup with 1 fried sage leaf and serve.
With love from my kitchen to yours,