I was born in Redbank, New Jersey, then we moved to Pennsylvania, and then to Rochester, New York. Although I was young and do not remember that much about any of those places, my parents made some wonderful friends there (especially in Rochester), whom they are still in touch with today. Her dear friends, Judy and Richard Columbus now own a home in California and they spend their winters together. Judy recently made it into the local newspaper with her delicious Butternut Squash and Pear Soup recipe. Not only does Judy look great, but her soup is both Thanksgiving-worthy and weeknight worthy too. I added a sprinkle of cinnamon and pumpkin seeds to the top for a sweet and crunchy garnish.
Butternut Squash and Pear Soup
By Judy Columbus
2 Anjou or Bosc pears, peeled, cored and chopped
2 tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup diced Vidalia or Spanish onions
3 cups or 24 ounces butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1½ tablespoons minced fresh garlic or 1 frozen garlic cube,
½ cup dry white wine
2 (14.5-ounce) cans vegetable or chicken broth
Few sprigs of fresh thyme, discard after cooking
½ teaspoon salt
Place pears and apples in a 2 quart bowl with lemon juice. Cover with water; set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium high heat, add oil. Add onions, sauté until translucent. Add squash, carrots and garlic. Drain liquid from 2 quart bowl and add pears and apples to the squash mixture. Add wine, broth, thyme and salt. Bring soup to a boil, turn down heat and simmer, covered, until squash is tender, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Transfer soup in batches to a blender; puree until smooth. Serve hot on a chilly winter’s eve or cold on a hot summer’s day.
Tips: Soup may be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen. Serve in soup bowls or mugs. Pour into tall cordial glasses, as a cold shooter. Garnish with a small sprig of savory or thyme.