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Squash Soup with Asian Pear, Apple, and Ginger

31 October

Serves 12

A comforting soup that is both savory and sweet. Perfect for late summer/early fall when Asian pears and apples are still in season. This tasty soup is high in fiber and carotenes. Use a roasted vegetable stock to add depth of flavor and richness to this soup (see next recipe for roasted vegetable stock).

1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted, divided
1 large kabocha squash, halved and seeded*
1 medium butternut squash, halved and seeded
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 teaspoon minced ginger, or to taste
2 Asian pears, cored and chopped
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
8 cups stock (optional recipe below)
lemon juice to taste
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish

*You can use all butternut squash in the recipe if you don’t have any kabocha.

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a small bowl, whisk the allspice, cinnamon, salt, red pepper flakes, and nutmeg with 1 tablespoon of the melted coconut oil. Brush inside flesh of squash with spice mixture, reserving any remaining. Arrange squash cut side down on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes or until very soft. Remove from oven and let cool.

3. While squash is roasting, heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and the reserved spice mixture in an 8-quart pot over medium heat. Add onions and a pinch of salt and cook until onions turn a light golden brown. Add the shallots, saute for a few minutes, then add ginger, pears, and apples. Continue to cook until the fruit begins to soften, about 5-7 minutes. As the mixture begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, deglaze with 1 cup of the broth. Add 3 more cups of broth and simmer gently.

4. When squash has cooled, scoop out the flesh into the onion-fruit mixture. Mash squash mixture with the back of a wooden spoon and add 4 more cups of stock. Gently simmer another 15 minutes. Ladle the soup into a blender in batches and puree until smooth. Taste and balance with lemon and salt if needed. Add more stock if necessary to thin the soup. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds.