Fresh Pumpkin-Pear Soup (or Sweet Potato)

mmmm.  Autumn.

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.


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