Butternut Squash and Pear Soup
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1 medium yellow onion, diced large
1 small butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and diced into 1 - 2 inch squares*
2 pears, peeled and diced to 1 inch squares
1 pear, peeled, cut in half, core removed
Salt and pepper, to taste
A pinch each of cayenne and cumin
1/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt
In a medium pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and cook until translucent, 6 minutes. Add squash, diced pear, halved pear, and 4 cups water; season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil; reduce to a rapid simmer and cook until squash is soft, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the whole pear from the pot and dice it.
In batches, fill a blender halfway with soup and yogurt. Puree in batches.
Caution: don’t use the blender top while pureeing hot liquids. Instead, drape a clean cloth over the top while pureeing the vegetables with the yogurt.Season with salt and pepper, cayenne and cumin. Serve topped with the reserved diced pear.
*If you have a microwave, use it to make peeling the butternut squash easier. Microwave the whole squash for one minute at a time. Between 1 and 3 minutes, you'll find the peel beginning to cook and much easier to separate from the flesh. Be careful -- it will be hot. Let it cool a little first. -- JuJu Harris