Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pear and Squash Soup = 2 Dinner Ideas


Sooooo, I've had these winter squash hiding since the end of the CSA season, theoretically "in storage" until needed at some point during the winter.

Yeah.

It was randomly like 60 degrees the other day.

Also, I've already signed up for my CSA season that starts June 2011.

So, the moral of the story is: If I plan to use these squash I better do it soon because the next thing I know I'll be overloaded with beets and greens again.  Already.  

Wow.  Where did my year go?

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Moving on.  So we're makin' some soup, yes?

First, roast an acorn squash (or squash of your choosing) with some salt, pepper, and butter in the oven at 400F until soft and delicious smelling, 30-45min.


While the squash is in the oven, cut 3 pears in half and core them.  Place the cut/cored pears flesh-side down in a baking dish and cover with a slighly sweet and floral white wine (I chose a lovely Gewurztraminer that my boss made me for Christmas).  Bake for 30-45min until the pears are soft.  Check on it now and then to check to make sure all the liquid hasn't evaporated.



While the pears and squash are roasting, start sweating some diced onions, carrots and celery (mirepoix) in a tablespoon (or so) of olive oil.  I failed to take any photos of the next step, which would be to put all the flesh from the baked squash and pears into the pot with the mirepoix.  Season with salt, pepper and a little cream and anything else you think it might need.  Blend it smooth with an immersion blender and prepare for the eats.

DINNER #1: SQUASH AND PEAR SOUP WITH A GORGONZOLA-HONEY CROUTON


The night I made this soup I wanted to taste-test it in the simplest form possible.  I topped it off with a crouton made by melting some gorgonzola cheese onto a slice of french bread and drizzling it with honey and parsley.

LOVED the addition of salty/sweet to the soup.  I admit, however, if you put gorgonzola on anything I'll be a  happy girl.

DINNER #2: BLACK FOREST HAM AND GRUYERE SAMMIE WITH PEAR SOUP

I wanted to keep playing with this idea of pairing the sweet soup with something salty and perhaps somewhat savory.  While I was at the store, black forest ham was on sale and it occurred to me that the lovely thing about black forest ham is that it is both sweet and savory/salty.  Hmmmm... this could be the winning match, no?



The magic of this soup and sandwich combo wasn't JUST the perfect pairing of salty ham, creamy gruyere and sweet pear soup.  OH NO NO.  I toasted the ham n' cheese sandwiches in something AMAZING.  And yes, butter was involved.  But not just butter.  OH NO NO.  Curried butter.  Yeah.  I said it.  I mixed curry powder with the butter, then melted it in the skillet, then toasted (fried) the sandwiches.  OH NO SHE DIDN'T.  Oh yes, I did.  And. It. Was. Breathtaking.  A perfect combination of flavors and textures.

I was pretty damn proud of myself for this one.  I'd serve this to company.  I'd serve this at a dinner party.  Yeah, crazy right?  Soup and sandwich?  Yeah.  And you should too.  Trust me on this one.

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