This easy soup recipe is packed with flavor and perfect for fall!
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 2 large stalks celery, roughly chopped
- 1-2 Tablespoons curry powder (see recipe notes)
- salt to taste
- 2 pears, cored and roughly chopped
- 1 small butternut squash (about 1 ¼-1 ½ pounds) peeled, seeded and cut into 1” cubes
- 3 ½ cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 4 ounces crème fraîche (about ½ cup), plus extra for garnish
- ¼ cup pepitas, for garnish (optional) what are pepitas?
- Black pepper, for garnish (optional)
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and celery and sauté, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent and begins to brown, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in curry powder with a generous pinch of salt.
- Add chopped pears, butternut squash, and chicken stock to the pot and stir to combine.
- Add another pinch of salt, then bring the pot to a low simmer. Cook, uncovered, until the vegetables and pears are cooked through and very soft, about 40-60 minutes. Note: The exact cook time will depend on the size of your squash pieces, the size of the pot, etc. When the soup is ready to be blended, the squash should be easily pierced with a fork.
- Turn off the heat, then use an immersion blender to carefully blend the soup until smooth. Always use caution when blending hot liquids.
- Add crème fraîche to soup and give it another zap with the immersion blender to blend everything together.
- Taste soup. Stir in additional salt and/or curry powder if needed.
- Ladle soup into bowls, garnish with crème fraîche, pepitas, and a few turns of cracked black pepper, and serve immediately.
A note about curry powder. Curry powders vary widely by brand and by recipe: you will likely need to adjust the amount of curry powder in this recipe to suit your own tastes. We recommend starting with 1 Tablespoon of curry powder, then tasting the finished soup and adding an extra 1 teaspoon if needed (with McCormick Organic and Simply Organic curry powders, 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon was the sweet spot with this recipe). The curry flavor is pretty mellow in this soup, but you can dial it up or down to suit your palate. If you’re using a homemade or especially flavorful curry powder, you may need to reduce the total amount here (especially if your curry powder uses fresh/strong spices like Diaspora Co as the base).
What kind of pears should I use? We've tested this recipe with both Bartlett and Bosc pears - both work great! Use whatever pears you like to eat. If you want to reduce the sweetness of this soup, use just one pear.
Additions and substitutions. Use roasted butternut squash instead of cooking the squash in the saucepan with the stock. You can also use frozen diced butternut squash to save a bit of time here. Use apples instead of pears if you like.
If you don’t have crème fraîche, use a 50/50 mix of sour cream (or Greek yogurt) and heavy cream instead - sour cream on its own will overpower the soup a bit; cutting it with heavy cream gets you the closest to the crème fraîche flavor. Sour cream is also more likely to separate in this soup, so be sure to blend it well after adding any sour cream to ensure a smooth consistency.
Adjusting the consistency. Once blended, if the soup is too thick, add a splash of stock or heavy cream to thin it out a bit. If the soup is too thin, let it simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the soup reaches your desired consistency.
For a smoother soup, peel the pears before coring and dicing them. A strong immersion blender or countertop blender should give you a very smooth soup (even with the peels), but in our recipe testing we did notice a slight variation in the soup’s smoothness depending on which blender was used. If you’d like an even smoother texture, strain the blended soup through a mesh sieve or run it through the fine blade of a food mill.
No immersion blender? If you don't have an immersion blender, carefully transfer soup to a blender in batches and blend until smooth. Be sure to remove the center cap piece on your blender’s lid before blending to allow steam to escape - otherwise the steam can build up and pop the top off to make a huge mess. Cover the hole in the lid with a clean tea towel for a moment when you begin blending and again when you stop the blender to avoid splattering. Always follow the care instructions on your equipment and use caution when blending hot soups.
Keywords: soup, fall, bisque