Saturday, October 10, 2009

Day 205 - Winter Squash and Pear Soup

Winter Squash and Pear Soup (p. 70)

Yet another soup, but what a special guest I have to feed it to today!

The amazing Broadway star, Sutton Foster, came by to record one of my songs for an episode of my podcast, and while she was here, I coaxed her into staying for a bowl of my latest Martha soup, before she ran off to be Princess Fiona in Shrek.

This is another beautiful and simple soup, quite similar to the Carrot and Ginger Soup from earlier in the week. Very few ingredients, all healthful, simple but satisfying flavors, quick and easy prep.

There's a little bit of leeway here, in that you can pick from a variety of squash. I chose Kabocha, because I've never used it before. Mine had a dense, dry-ish flesh and a hint of sweetness, earthier than butternut, with a consistency closer to a russet potato than a sweet potato. I photographed it upside down so you could see the interesting (and typical) coloration on the bottom.

You can bake the squash first "to intensify the flavor," or you can use it raw. I opted for intense flavor.

Another element up for grabs is the liquid - Martha gives us the option of chicken or vegetable stock or water. Since water worked so well for the carrot soup, I thought it would probably do just as nicely here.

Finally, Martha mentions that we can finish it with a bit of buttermilk, if desired. I left it dairy-free, but when I tear into leftovers, I'm thinking I might reheat it with a little buttermilk just to see what happens....

Between the sweetness of the pear and the sweetness in the squash, this soup really craves some salt to balance out the flavor. Again, once the soup was properly seasoned, it was perfectly delicious.

Incidentally, I reserved a cup of liquid before pureeing, and once again, I ended up with a perfect consistency and didn't use any of the extra liquid to thin it. What an important tip! If I hadn't taken that cup out, I'd have ended up with overly thin soup!

Jeff: A
Martha: A
Sutton Foster: A+ (check her out on my podcast - she's dreamy!)

Until we eat again....

How adorable is she? That's watercress garnish on top, by the way.


  1. I'm going to end up buying the darn book. How could I not after all of this lusciousness... making soup is the perfect Sunday afternoon cold weather indoor activity. Thanks for making this one Jeff, I had no idea that squash soup could be so easy and non dairy too !

  2. SO easy!

    Really, how can you imagine your life without this book?? :-)