Butternut Squash Chowder with Pears and Ginger
(from John Ruskin who got it from Epicurious (www.epicurious.com)

[Printable Version]

2 Anjou or Bosc pears, peeled, cored and diced

Juice of 2 lemons

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup peeled and diced Vidalia or Spanish onion

l stalk celery, diced

1 small carrot, peeled and diced

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon peeled minced fresh ginger

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced (about 3 cups)

1 baking potato (about 12 ounces), peeled and diced

5 cups vegetable stock

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup heavy cream

salt to taste

Place pears in a bowl with the lemon juice, cover with water and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over high heat until lightly smoking.  Add the onion, celery and carrot.  Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the onion in translucent.  Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for one minute longer, stirring occasionally.  Add the white wine and reduce the liquid until the pan is almost dry, about 3 minutes.

Drain half the pears, reserving the other half in the lemon water for garnish.  Add the drained pears to the pan with the squash, potato, and stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until the squash is tender.  Transfer half of the soup in batches to a blender and puree until smooth.  Strain through a fine-mesh sieve back into the saucepan with the unpureed mixture.  Add the orange juice, lemon juice, cream, salt, and the reserved pears and gently warm the chowder through (do not boil).  The chowder can be made one day ahead.

Makes six servings.

29 January 2001