Butternut Squash, Pear, Cider and Vanilla Bean Soup

Here’s a creative soup from a great blogger, Orangette.  Her book, A Homemade Life, is a beautiful memoir full of stories and recipes.  Maybe one day I’ll write a book like that…

Butternut squash soup

For now, I’ll make soup.

Oddly pretty, isn't it?

Oddly pretty, isn’t it?

In a large pot, saute the onion, squash and pears in the olive oil until they start to get soft (don’t allow them to brown).

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Add in the broth and salt and allow the mixture to simmer until the vegetables/fruit are thoroughly cooked.

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Blend your soup in a food processor or with an immersion blender.  Stir in the cream and vanilla bean and serve.

Butternut squash, pear, cider and vanilla bean soup

 

Butternut Squash, Pear, Cider and Vanilla Bean Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 3 tbsp. olive oil
  2. 1 butternut squash (approx. 2 lbs); peeled, seeded and cubed
  3. 2 pears, peeled, cored, and cubed
  4. 1 onion, chopped
  5. 1 cup apple cider
  6. 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/2 cup half-and-half or cream
  9. 1 vanilla bean, halved and scraped of its' seeds
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, saute the onion, squash and pears in the olive oil until they start to get soft (don't allow them to brown).
  2. Add in the broth and salt and allow the mixture to simmer until the vegetables/fruit are thoroughly cooked.
  3. Blend your soup in a food processor or with an immersion blender. Stir in the cream and vanilla bean and serve.
Adapted from Orangette
Adapted from Orangette
Purple House Café https://www.purplehousecafe.com/

Sweet Potato Coconut Soup

Before I figured out what I wanted to do with my life (well, sort of), I worked in the kitchen of a popular coffee house close to the university.  We pretty much just sold sandwiches and soups, so I quickly developed an expertise for slicing cucumbers and tomatoes and creating, on a daily basis, what I hoped would be an enticing and interesting sounding soup.

I spent my mornings chopping and sauteeing and boiling while sipping on botched lattes and eating broken cookies and cupcakes.  It was a pretty simple life, and it was here that I really started developing an appreciation for and ability to cook.

One of the soups that has remained in my food repertoire even after I traded in my apron for “slacks” and other business casual attire is this sweet potato coconut one.

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Here’s what you need:

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

1/2 large onion, diced

1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened, depending on your preference)

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp powdered ginger

Here’s what you do:

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Throw the sweet potatoes, onion and spices in a medium-sized pot and add water – just enough to cover the veggies.  Place on the stove over medium heat.

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Once the oven has preheated, spread the coconut in a layer on a baking sheet and place in the oven.  Watch it carefully, stirring as needed until the coconut is a golden brown colour.

Add half of the coconut to the simmering vegetables.

Allow the vegetables to cook thoroughly, until they are quite soft.  Remove from the heat and blend the soup using an immersion blender or a food processor.  Note:  if using a food processor, you may wish to work in batches so as not to overflow the processor, and you may wish to allow the soup to cool a little before blending so you don’t burn yourself!

Sprinkle some of the remaining toasted coconut onto the soup for serving.

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