This Dairy Free Butternut Squash, Pear, and Ginger Soup is like putting on my favorite sweater: it feels so good. Although the soup takes several steps – roasting the squash and pears (which can be done a day ahead of time), cooking them and finally pureeing the soup – there is not much involvement from you. It’s an easy make-ahead soup that keeps for days – a delicious possibility as a date night or cooking together dinner for two.
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- What you'll need
- How to cut a butternut squash for soup
- Best way to roast squash, pears and ginger
- Making roasted squash skin and seed stock for soup
- What to serve with Butternut Squash, pear and ginger soup
- Cooking Butternut, Pear and Ginger Soup Together Tips
- Tips to keep it fun
- Butternut Squash Soup For Two
- Three variations:
What you'll need
It is made with few ingredients, the steps require minimal involvement yet result in a delicious and silky soup you will want to make again and again. Your dinner guest will ask for the recipe or if they are not a cook they will ask “what’s in this?"
Here's what you need to make this soup:
- Butternut Squash – This recipe also works great with buttercup, perfection, or other dense winter squash, make sure to rinse and lightly scrub to remove dirt from the skin.
- Pears – you can use any variety but make sure they are firm enough to hold up to roasting in the oven. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of the fruit.
- Fresh Ginger
- Onion – yellow or white will work in this recipe. I prefer the sweeter yellow onion.
- Sunflower seed or olive oil
- Maple Syrup
- Sea salt and Pepper
- Crème Fraiche or sour cream, optional
How to cut a butternut squash for soup
Cutting squash can be difficult. A heavy knife or cleaver and a rubber mallet are useful tools. Gently whack the knife into the squash, then bear down or tap it with the mallet to open the squash. Cut next to the stem rather than through it – it’ll be easier on your knife.
Best way to roast squash, pears and ginger
Roasting squash in chunks, with the skin on, gives us the opportunity to use the roasted skin and the seeds to make a flavorful soup stock .
Pro tip: Short on time? Go ahead and roast the squash, pears and ginger a day or two before you plan to serve the soup.
Do I need to peel the squash before roasting?
No, for this recipe we will cut the squash in half, scrape out the seeds, then cut each half into thirds. Put the squash on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicon mat for easy clean up. Brush the cut sides with olive oil, drizzle maple syrup over the squash and sprinkle the squash with salt and pepper.
What about peeling pears?
Peeling the pears before roasting makes it easy to scoop the roasted fruit off the baking sheet and put it directly into the soup pot. But there is no problem to leave the skin on the pears when roasting and add the roasted skin-on fruit, it will give the soup an earthy flavor and a slightly chunkier texture.
Toss the cut pears with the squash on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicon mat for easy clean up.
Should I peel ginger before roasting?
Similar to the pears, I would. Simply because I like the silkier texture when we puree the fruit and ginger without the skin. And in my opinion it is easier to remove the peel the pear and ginger prior to roasting.
Sprinkle the sliced ginger over the top of the pears and squash on the prepared baking sheet.
Making roasted squash skin and seed stock for soup
You don’t have to make stock for this recipe – you can use water as your base. But the roasted skins and squash seeds hold the potential for extra flavor, making it worth simmering them for 25 minutes in water.
Of course, a flavorful shortcut is to add purchased vegetable stock to this soup in place of the roasted skin and squash seed stock.
What to serve with Butternut Squash, pear and ginger soup
There are a number of romantic pairings for this soup recipe. It’s a beautiful prelude to:
· Keep it simple and make grilled cheese.
For wine consider, a heartier white with tropical fruit, such as Sanford’s Chardonnay from Santa Barbara County.
Cooking Butternut, Pear and Ginger Soup Together Tips
A couple’s cooking date is the perfect way to reconnect. This is a fun activity for any couple that likes to work and play together, and I offer the best tips to plan and keep it fun.
For this recipe, assign one person to be the “lead” and the other will be the “sous chef”. The lead is in charge of reading the recipe and delegating tasks to the partner and to themselves. While the “sous chef” gets to sit back, relax and worry about when to sip on their drink of choice while chopping and mixing, without thinking about what is next
Tips to keep it fun
- Shop for ingredients up to 4 days before the dinner date
- Roast the squash, pear and ginger 3-4 days ahead of the dinner date. Depending on your menu and active cooking time needed for your menu, consider roasting the vegetables 2-3 nights before. Save the finishing touches of pureeing and reheating as one of the cooking together dinner date activities. This roasted soup and vegetables will keep in the refrigerator in an air tight contain for up to 3-4 days. Don’t forget to reserve the roasted skins and seeds to make stock.
- Forego making the roasted squash skin and seed stock. Although, you could make the stock 2-3 days before the dinner date.
- Put on your cooking playlist
- Delegate Finishing the Soup task to one person.
- Take a break, sip your cocktail and dance with your cooking partner
Butternut Squash Soup For Two
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- 2 pounds Butternut, Buttercup, Perfection, or other dense winter squash, rinsed
- 3 ripe but firm pears any variety, peeled, quartered, seeds and stems removed.
- 1 chunk fresh ginger about 2 inches long, thinly sliced
- Sunflower seed or olive oil for the squash
- Maple Syrup for the squash
- Sea salt
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter or sunflower seed oil
- 1 large yellow onion thinly sliced
- ½ cup crème fraiche or sour cream optional
Roasting the Squash, Pears and Ginger
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut the squash in half, scrape out the seeds, then cut each half into thirds. Reserve the seeds for making a stock. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat. If you use a large baking dish or roasting pan make sure to grease the pan with olive oil. Put the squash pieces in the pan with the pears and all but a few slices of the ginger. Brush with oil, season with salt, and sprinkle with maple syrup.
- Bake until fragrant and tender, about 1 hour. Turn the pieces once or twice so they have a chance to caramelize on more than one surface. If the squash skins seems very dry (some varieties are), add I cup water to the pan to create steam and cover with foil. When the squash is tender, transfer everything from the pan to a cutting board, add 1 cup water to the pan, and scrape to dissolve the juices, reserve the liquid as this will add some extra flavor to the soup. Scrape the flesh of the squash away from the skins. You should have about 2 cups.
- Make ahead tip: Store roasted squash, pears and ginger up to 4 days before finishing the rest of the soup. Also save the deglazing water from the pan and the seeds and squash skins for making the stock. Both can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
To Make a Stock
- Bring 6 cups water to a boil and add the reserved seeds, the squash skins, the remaining ginger, and ½ teaspoon salt. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Make ahead tip: The stock can be made up to 4 days before finishing the soup. Strain the stock and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Finishing the Soup
- Melt the butter in a soup pot. Add the onion, give it a sir; and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until it begins to soften and is fragrant, about 6-8 minutes. Add the pears, ginger, and squash, then the reserved deglazing water. Strain the stock into the pot. If you did not make stock from the seeds and squash skins, use purchased vegetable stock or water.
- Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes. Cool briefly, then puree until smooth and pass through a food mill or strainer to ensure a silky texture. Serve as is or swirl in the crème fraiche.
Three variations:1. Dice a pear or an apple, sprinkle with a little sugar and caramelize in a little butter or oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Use these as finishing touches 2. Swirl in cream and maple syrup, sprinkle with roasted and salted pepitas to each serving. 3. Omit ginger from the soup and add cooked wild rice to the finished soup.
Your Notes, Tips and Tricks
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.