Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Butternut Squash Chestnut Soup w/ Pears

Another golden recipe found in Shape Magazine, November 2011 Issue that happens to be naturally gluten-free.  One of my favorites is Butternut Squash Soup!  It's divine, and this recipe has carmalized pears!  It's like dessert in a soup.  Yum!!  Nothing like Butternut Squash soup to warm you up on a cold winter's day.

Serves 6
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour/35 minutes

For the Soup:
1 cinnamon stick
1 whole nutmeg seed, smashed with-the knife flat side of the knife
1 stalk lemongrass, chopped
1 cardamom pods
1 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped (you can leave this out if allergic)
2 dried chipolte chilies
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large leek, white and pale green parts only, rinsed and finely chopped
3 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
1 cup drained canned or jarred chestnuts, chopped
2 tbsp. chopped fresh sage
8 cups water
2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
sea salt

For the Pears:
1 tbsp safflower oil
2 pears, peeled, cored and diced
1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1.  Gather first 6 ingredients in a piece of cheesecloth.  Knot securely and set aside.
2.  In a soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add leek and saute for about 10 minutes or until softened.  Add squash, chestnuts, sage, cheesecloth pouch, and water.  Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until squash is tender.  Remove from heat and let cool.
3.  Heat safflower oil in a large saute pan over high heat.  Add pears and saute for 5 minutes.  Lower heat and stir in 1 tbsp. maple syrup, cinnamon, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.  Continue cooking for 10-15 minutes or until pears are soft.  Remove from heat and let cool.
4.  Discard pouch from soup.  Add 2 tbsp. maple syrup; season with salt.  Transfer to a blender and process until smooth.
5.  Divide soup among six bowls and garnish each with caramelized pears.

Nutrition score per serving:
(1 cup) 306 calories, 12g fat, (2g saturated fat), 51g carbs, 3g protein, 6g fiber, 154mg calcium, 2mg iron, 23mg sodium.

Enjoy! xoxo Julie
Happy Thanksgiving!!

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