Squashed Pear Soup

 

Abstract: A relatively simple to prepare aromatic soup combining the flavors of squash and pears.  The inspiration for the soup is that the ingredients are related geometrically rather that botanically.

 

Serves: 4 human beings or 2 engineers or 1 medium sized dog

 

Lead time: 35 minutes (concentrating), 55 minutes (with Sudoku diversions)

 

Tools: Blender or food processor, 4 or 6 quart sauce pan, chopping and paring knives, small skillet

 

Bill of Materials:

            Chicken broth                                     2 Picnic (~10.5-12 oz each) cans

            Anjou pear                                          1 large (red)

            Bosc pear                                            1 large (russet or yellow)

            Acorn squash                                      1 medium to large

            White onion                                        ½ medium sized

            Jamaican gold (or dark) rum               750 ml (1/4 cup for soup - drink the rest)

            Ground cinnamon                               2 tablespoons

            Nutmeg                                               4 teaspoons

            Heavy cream                                       ¼ cup             

            Butter                                                  1 tablespoon

            Thyme                                                 ¼ teaspoon

 

Assembly Instructions:

            Put chicken broth into sauce pan and set burner on low to medium heat.  Slice the skinny end (about 1/6 of total) off the pears and squash and set aside for later.  Peel the big part of the pears, core, cut into ½ inch cubes and put into chicken broth.  Peel the big part of the squash, remove seeds, cut in ½ inch cubes and put into chicken broth.  Peel the onion.  Cut it in half and chop one half into quarters.  Separate the layers and put into chicken broth.  (Save the other half for something else or feed it to your bird)  Add the rum to the broth and ½ of the cinnamon and nutmeg.  Add heavy cream to the mixture and whisk until it is uniform. Taste and add the rest of the cinnamon and nutmeg to get the taste you want.  Let the mixture simmer (without hard boiling) for 10 minutes.

            While the chicken broth mixture is cooking, slice the tops of the pears and squash into thin slices and quarter the slices.  Melt the butter is a small skillet and stir in the thyme.  Sauté the sliced pear and squash tops until they just begin to soften.  Remove them from skillet so they will not continue to soften.

            Pour the chicken broth mixture into the blender and blend on medium speed until the mixture is smooth (no chunks of squash or pears) liquid.  Pour back into sauce pan.  Whisk in sautéed pear and squash pieces and butter/thyme residue from skillet.  Simmer for 2 more minutes and serve.  (Drink the rest of the rum)