Spiced Squash, Fennel, and Pear Soup

Pears, peeled and unpeeled.

This week’s French Friday’s theme is Cook’s Choice and I chose to catch up on a recipe I’d missed this month.

Squash soup is so ubiquitous at this time of year that it risks becoming boring. At last year’s co-op soup swap, we joked that we were all worried that we’d go home with six kinds of squash soup, though we’d have been disappointed if there had been none.

When I think of squash soup, I think of the nuttiness of butternut squash, with a mirepoix and chicken stock base, perhaps mixed with some cream, and seasoned with thyme and nutmeg. This squash soup is a little different. Onion, garlic, celery, and fennel form the base of the soup and are seasoned with ginger, cumin, and nutmeg. Roasted squash, pears, and orange peel finish the soup. Once it’s puréed, it looks like any other squash soup, but it’s sweet and subtly spicy. It’s a soup that improves with age, too, so I’d even recommend making it the day before you serve it. The sweetness is better balanced by the other flavours when the soup has rested 24 hours or more.

Ingredients into the pot.

Softened ingredients.

                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   

I served it simply, with a grind of pepper, though the suggested toppings are crème fraîche and toasted pumpkin seeds. It was a hit across my family, even with my squash-leery partner.

I’m looking forward to reading about the recipes chosen by the other Doristas this week. Click the link at the top of the post and browse – I predict there will be a wide range of dishes to read about this week.

Spiced Squash, Fennel, and Pear Soup.

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20 thoughts on “Spiced Squash, Fennel, and Pear Soup

  1. I’m not a squash soup lover, but this one was fantastic! I probably made mine a little more on the spicy side and less sweet. It was also great to make and serve at a dinner party, and send the leftovers home with guests. Glad you were able to try this one! Happy French Friday!

  2. I think throwing in a cook’s choice once in a while is such a fantastic idea. A great opportunity to catch up on recipe we previously missed! I had to smile at your soup swap story. The ubiquitous squash soup! 🙂

    Glad the soup was a hit at yours!

  3. I didn’t dare to serve it on my family. The don’t like fennel and squash. But I’m glad it turned out so well. Maybe in the future I will give it a try.
    And thanks for the make it a day ahead tip.

  4. Squash is one of those things I don’t grow tired of too easily since it has so many sweet & savory applications. This soup was a pleasant surprise – I wasn’t sure how all of those flavors were going to marry together.
    Have a great weekend, Teresa!

  5. I’m glad you took this week to make the soup. It has such a wonderful depth of flavor and I love the subtle texture of the pureed pears along with the squash. Your soup looks perfect for a cold autumn day. I agree that it just gets better leftover and I am so glad I froze a couple of small containers of it so I can thaw out quickly for lunch.

  6. My taste buds have the same expectation as what you described when I think of squash soup. but this combo does sound intriguing. I’m not a fennel lover but in this combo, I think I would like it. For Thanksgiving day, I made a Bobby Flay recipe of pumpkin soup with a cranberry maple creme fraiche creme dolloped in it. I used unsweetened cranberry juice so the creme was tangy against the soup – yum. I am convinced there is more to squash soup than just the butternut thyme we think of, but I must say that is so comforting and I will never tire of it. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

  7. It’s interesting that you mentioned that the soup aged well and tasted better after aging – you are the only one so far. I might be inclined to make this again once my pregnancy is over 🙂

  8. Thanks for the tip about making it ahead of time! Mine is simmering at this very moment….I’ve been behind on FFWD. It smells good so I’m glad to hear you liked it! I’m serving it with Matafans (made some earlier to have extra for leftovers and they are good!) and the pork stuffed with chard. I’ve been cooking all afternoon!

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