Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Best Soup. Ever.

Whether or not you're concerned with heart health, I guarantee that if you give the following recipe a chance, it will be one of your all-time favorites.  Be sure you use good ingredients - sweet ripe pears and fresh ginger - or it won't turn out to be perfection.  And it's actually fairly easy - if you double the recipe and freeze half of it, you'll have a healthy veggie side dish with no cooking for many meals to come.

Curried Butternut Squash and Pear Soup

Finished Product.

1 butternut squash
3 tbsp Smart Balance Sticks
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tsp fresh minced ginger root - more if you're me (all produce sections have)
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
4 cups chicken broth 
2 Bartlett Pears, cored and diced (okay to leave peel on)
1/2 cup milk

(1) Roast the squash by slicing in half and removing seeds, and placing flat side down on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.  Roast in 375 degree oven for 45 minutes.  When done, remove pulp from peel and set aside for later use.

Acorn squash before roasting. But go for butternut squash if you can find it.
(2) Melt Smart Balance in large pot.  Stir in onion, garlic, ginger, curry powder, salt, and saute until onion is soft. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Add pear and squash and simmer until pear is soft (about 30 mins).

Peeling and mincing the ginger root.
Sauteeing Smart Balance, onion, garlic, ginger, curry, salt.
Core the pear.
Easy pear dicing.
SO easy.  Scoop up with spatula and add to soup.
(3) Here's the labor of this recipe:  If you don't have an immersion blender, you need to transfer the soup to a food processor or blender in batches and blend until soup is pureed.  I highly recommend getting an immersion blender though.  They're not very expensive and you can use them to make heart-healthy smoothies with frozen blueberries, yogurt, honey, brown sugar, and cardamom.

Immersion blender.  $28 on Amazon, makes a great gift.
(4) Return soup to pot.  Stir in milk.  Reheat.  I like to serve with a dollup of low-fat sour cream in the middle.  So fancy right?

Double batch, baby.  It freezes perfectly in any container.

Enjoy :)

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