Most would agree that Argentina is best known for its signature beef, but what some don't know is that pumpkins and sweet potatoes are key components to many of their traditional recipes.
Enter, sopa de calabaza (eng: pumpkin/butternut squash soup). This is an easy, healthy alternative to the heavier versions of pumpkin or butternut squash soup we may be familiar with. Leaving out heavy creams or cheeses, I have added my own fall twist to this recipe with seasonal pears and fresh rosemary. This combination gives it just a hint of woodsy and unique citrus taste to bring out the natural sweetness of the squash. A fragrant, creamy and delicately flavored soup perfect for a crisp fall day tailgate or as an appetizer/first course for your next neighborhood dinner party.
Here's how you can make your own, or order a batch ready to serve from our site.
RECIPE / RECETA (esp)
Gluten-free; Vegan (optional)
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 leek, washed and cut into thin slices using white and light green parts
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1" cubes (about 20 oz/1 lb once cut)*
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes (about 20 oz/1 lb once cut)*
6 cups chicken or vegetable (for vegan version) broth**
2 rosemary sprigs, whole
4 tsp firmly packed light brown sugar
3 large ripe, but firm Anjou, Bosc or Bartlett pears, remove core/seeds and cut into 1/4" slices
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
In a large, heavy pot, melt 1 Tbsp of butter with olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and leek and sauté until softened and lightly browned, about 7-10 minutes.
Add the squash and sweet potato cubes, broth and rosemary sprigs. Raise the heat to high and bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover partially, and simmer until squash is tender, about 20 minutes.
In the meantime, in a small sauce pan, melt the remaining 1 Tbsp of butter. Once melted, combine with 2 tsp of brown sugar in a small bowl. Add the pear slices and toss until well coated. Optional: reserve several pear slices for garnish when serving soup later. Spread the coated pears in a single layer on a rimmed non-stick (or sprayed) baking sheet and roast until the edges begin to brown, about 7 minutes. Flip pear slices and sprinkle with remaining brown sugar to roast other side, about 5-7 more minutes until caramel brown. Remove from oven and let cool until simmering soup is ready.
Remove and discard whole rosemary sprigs from the soup pot. Remove from heat and add the roasted pear slices, stirring them in evenly. Let cool slightly. Once ready, work in batches to purée the soup mixture in a blender. Add salt and pepper for taste as needed. For a lighter, more liquid consistency, add more broth, water or apple cider during blending process. This lighter version can be enjoyed chilled as well.
Serve, garnish with pear slices and small rosemary sprigs, and enjoy!
Heat again before serving, if needed. Can be made 1 day ahead.
* Tip: If crunched for time, buy pre-cubed butternut squash and sweet potatoes available in most grocery stores.
** Tip: If using vegetable broth, try to avoid versions that have a tomato base as this will change the flavor of the soup.
Share your favorite version of Sopa de Calabaza in the comment area below.
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