This creamy, healthy, roasted pumpkin pear soup is perfect for a cozy fall dinner. Roasting squash is about a million times easier than peeling and cutting it, plus it tastes better! Adding a couple of roasted pears gives it a nice sweetness, and using evaporated milk instead of cream makes this soup perfectly creamy and much healthier.
We've officially entered the season of Soup Every Week. Every single week when the weather turns cold, I make a large batch of some kind of soup - sometimes creamy, sometimes chunky - that we have for dinner one night and then bring to work for lunches for the next few days. It's easy and we always seem to be in the mood for soup. Doesn't hurt that it's usually a sure bet with the toddler too.
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And since it's October, and pretty much pumpkin-palooza on the internet (no complaints!), pumpkin soup was the obvious choice. When I make a squash soup, I almost always add an apple for some sweetness to balance the savoriness of the squash. But since we're still enjoying some beautiful Ontario pears in the markets, I thought pear would make a nice variation on the theme.
Naturally creamy soups like this one don't strictly require the addition of cream, but I often add it anyway as I find it makes the soup extra silky and satisfying. This time I kept it a bit healthier by using evaporated milk instead of cream. It's an easy swap that's also cheaper, and honestly you would never know the difference!
How do You Roast Pumpkin (or any squash)?
I used to peel and cut my squash when I made soup, but recently I started roasting it instead. It's a total game changer. Just cut it in half, and scrape out the seeds (save them for roasting!). Rub with a little olive oil and stick it in the oven for 45 minutes or so, until a fork easily pierces all the way through. Scoop out the flesh and you're ready to make soup!
I like to roast the squash over the weekend, while I'm preparing other things, and then keep it in the fridge for when I'm ready for soup. And as a pretty awesome bonus, it tastes better too! Nothing like roasting to bring out the flavor and sweetness of any vegetable.
What Kind of Pumpkins are Best for Soup?
For cooking and baking purposes, the main thing is to stay away from the large jack-o-lantern pumpkins. There are many varieties of pumpkins you can use, and they are often generically labeled "pie pumpkin" or "sugar pie pumpkin". The ones my grocery store carries look just like the larger ones, but are usually only about 2-3 lbs each. If you're lucky enough to have a farmer's market at you're disposal, you can find some beautiful heirloom varieties. See this guide for some examples.
How to Make Roasted Pumpkin Pear Soup
I roasted my pumpkins ahead of time, so roasted the pumpkins and pears separately, but you can totally just halve and core the pears and put them on the same pan as the pumpkins. The pears will be done after about 20 minutes so just remove them when the are soft and beginning to brown.
While the pears are roasting, sauté some onion and garlic. Add a little cinnamon and nutmeg (I don't go to heavy on the spices as I don't necessarily want my soup to taste like pumpkin pie!). Add the pumpkin, pears, broth, salt and pepper, breaking up the bigger chunks with a wooden spoon. Simmer for a few minutes to let the flavors meld.
Purée the soup and stir in a little maple syrup, evaporated milk, and a little vinegar for balance and brightness. Garnish with crunchy roasted pepitas if you like!
Stay warm and cozy!
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A Few Other Favorite Creamy Fall Soups to Try
Red Pepper and Carrot Soup with Couscous
Indian-spiced Carrot Ginger Soup
Roasted Pumpkin Pear Soup
- 2 sugar pie pumpkins about 2-3 lbs each
- 2 tablespoon olive oil divided
- ½ yellow onion chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 pears cut in half and cored
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- ½ cup evaporated milk
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon vinegar white wine, sherry, apple cider or any other vinegar
- additional salt and pepper to taste
- a drizzle of olive oil and roasted pepitas for garnish
- Preheat the over to 425 degrees F. Cut the pumpkins in half lengthwise and scrape out the strings and seeds with a spoon. Brush the insides of the pumpkins with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and place them cut side down on the baking sheet.
- halve and core the pears and place them cut side up around the pumpkin halves.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven, and remove the pears when soft and lightly browned, about 20minutes. Continue roasting the pumpkin until a fork easily pierces all the way through (about 20 minutes longer).
- Scoop the flesh out of the pumpkins and set aside in a bowl.
- Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in a large pot or dutch oven, over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, and cook until softened, stirring occasionally (about 5 minutes).
- Add the pumpkin and pears back to the pot, along with the spices, salt and pepper and stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Puree the soup with an immersion blender, or in batches in a regular blender and return to the pot. Stir in ½ cup of evaporated milk, maple syrup, and vinegar. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. If the soup is too thick, stir in a little more stock or water.
- Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and some roasted pepitas if desired.
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