While fresh anything is better than canned — there is something to be said for the conveience of canned pumpkin. Cutting up a fresh pumpkin is about as labor intensive as the prep on any fresh veg-fruit out there because of the thickness and density of the meat. However — this recipe benefits from the extra effort.
The only acceptable alternative is to use fresh sweet potatoes — only slightly less labor-intesive because they don’t have all the seeds etc to deal with and they are easy to peel.
4 c organic chicken stock (not broth — but STOCK)
1 x 2-3oz jar of Baby-food puree’d pears
24 oz peeled and boiled pumpkin (or sweet potato) cubes (1′ is about right)
2 med pears, peeled and diced small
3T finely minced onion
3T finely minced celery
pinch rubbed sage
1/4 t dry thyme, rubbed between hands
1/4 c softened butter (real butter)
1/4 c half and half (light cream)
pinch of salt
There’s nothing tricky about this — it just requires some elbow grease. Cut and peel the pumpkin, until you have clean smoothe, seed and slime free sections. Cut into chunks, and pre-boil the pumpkin until tender, drain, and set it aside.
Melt butter in the bottom of a small soup pot, and add the onion and celery. Saute until transluscent, but not brown.
Add stock and puree’d pears and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and add the chopped pears. Cook for 10 minutes on med heat until pears are slightly tender. Add in the pumpkin and herbs and return to a hot simmer.
Once very hot, use a stick blender to puree the soup until smooth. Add the half and half and another pinch of salt if needed — Serve garnished with very thin slices of pear.