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Food & Wine: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Brown Butter Pears and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Brown Butter Pears and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Servings: 2 Quarts/64 oz/roughly 6 servings

Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes Active Time: 45-50 min

Ingredients:

1 (2 1/2–pound; 1kg) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large (8-ounce; 215g) carrot, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 tablespoons (30ml) extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons (100g) unsalted butter,
4 large (8-ounce; 215g) shallots, thinly sliced
4 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 cup (120 ml) dry white wine
1/2 cup (120ml) heavy whipping cream
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
4 cups (1L) homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock, plus more as needed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Brown Butter Pears:
1 (4 oz; 112g) Bosc Pear almost ripe, peeled, cored and cut into half inch cubes
2 tablespoons (100g) unsalted butter
Kosher Salt to taste

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds:
1/2 cup Raw Pumpkin Seeds
1 tablespoon (15ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp Ancho Chili
1 tsp Paprika

For the soup:
Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss squash and carrot with olive oil and arrange on 2 parchment lined sheet trays. Roast until squash and carrot caramelized and tender, about 40 minutes turning them every 15 minutes so that every side gets some color Set aside.
While the squash and carrots are roasting, in a large saucepan, cook 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat until just starting to brown. Add shallots and garlic, lower heat to medium, and sweat the vegetables, stirring, until softened, about 8 minutes; lower heat as necessary to prevent burning. Cover the pot when not stirring.
Turn the heat to high and add in wine and reduce until almost all of the wine is evaporated then add in heavy cream, bay leaf and thyme spring and bring to a light boil, then reduce heat to medium-low simmer and reduce the cream by half. Add in chicken stock. If the squash and carrots are finished roasting you can add them to the pot now (make sure you get all the flavorful bits from the roasting pan.
Once the squash and carrots are in, bring everything to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 10 mins. Take out the bay leaf and thyme.
In a blender or immersion blender, working in batches, blend the soup on high until a very smooth consistency is achieved. Set hot soup aside if serving immediately to place in containers to refrigerate.
For the pears:
In a medium size skillet heated to medium, place in butter and swirl the pan until the butter is golden brown and the bubbles have subsided.
add in pears and season with salt, tossing the pears in the pan until they are browned slightly and cooked through. about 5 min.
Set Aside
For the pumpkin seeds:
Preheat an oven to 350°F
In a small bowl combine pumpkin seed, chili powder and paprika and toss to combine. season the seeds with olive oil and pace on a parchment lined sheet tray and toast for about 8-10 min, making sure not to burn the seeds. Set aside.
When ready to serve, place pieces of the pear in the bottom of each bowl and top with hot soup. Scatter pumpkin seeds and serve.
You can finish the soup with aged balsamic or sherry vinegar.

Recipe Courtesy of Chef Spencer Hochman; chefspencersonoma@gmail.com

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