I used to hate soup. Something about drinking my dinner always felt wrong to me. Of course, this was way before I fell in love with smoothies, green drinks, the master cleanse, and well let’s just say I’ve seen the error in my thinking. Besides, when the cold comes creeping in, a warm bowl of soup is the perfect anti-dote. The inspiration for this recipe came from Veganomicon (if you don’t own it, you should) but the recipe morphed according to what I had in my house and I really like the final version. This soup is on the sweeter side, but is all around an awesome butternut soup that your family/friends/strangers in your life will fall head over heals for.
2T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper
2 tsp minced ginger
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1 butternut squash (or 2 small acorn squash)
2 firm bartlett pears
4 cups of vegetable stock
1 15-oz can white beans
1 T fresh lemon juice
drizzle of chocolate balsamic vinegar (optional)
Remove the seeds from the butternut squash, peel and chop roughly. Sauté the onion in oil until it turns translucent. Add the ginger, garlic, and Chinese five spice powder and then sauté for another few minutes (be careful not to burn the spice). Add the bell pepper, squash, pears, and vegetable stock. Bring the soup to a boil, and then reduce to a rolling simmer for about 20 minutes or until the squash is very tender. Puree the soup with an immersion blender or transfer to a food processor/blender and process in batches. Return the soup to the pot and add the white beans and lemon juice. Serve with a drizzle of chocolate balsamic vinegar.
If you are not ready to eat the soup, cool it in an ice bath and refrigerate to use within a week or freeze and eat within 6 months.