Curried Squash and Pear Soup

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EASY Butternut Squash Soup with Pears, seasoned with curry and ginger

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Tis the season for squash and pear! These two pals of fall work beautifully together in this creamy, lightly spicy, gingery soup.

When I first posted this recipe years ago, I suggested roasting a halved butternut squash first, to get make purée as the base for the soup. That works, but you are left with an excess of squash purée, and sometimes it’s just easier to start with pre-cut butternut squash.

So, in this revised version, I’m browning pre-cut cubed squash in olive oil and butter, then cooking onions with spices, and then adding chopped pears, before adding back the squash and stock to make the soup. 

Pears and ginger love each other, so I’m adding a little ground ginger for some zing, as well as a splash of nutmeg.

The soup is similar to a spicy pumpkin soup also here on Simply Recipes, but with a distinctive pear flavor. You can add a thin slice of bartlett pear to each serving, or cut up a pear in small pieces and mix them into the soup for added sweetness.

Recipe and photos updated, first published 2005

Curried Squash and Pear Soup Recipe

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  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 6 cups cubed butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 cups peeled, chopped Bartlett pear (about 1 pound, 3 pears)
  • 1 1/2  cups water
  • 1 cup pear nectar
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock (use veg stock for vegetarian option)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 small Bartlett pear, cored and thinly sliced

Method

1 Sauté the butternut squash: Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil and 1 teaspoon butter in a large, thick-bottomed pot on high heat. Add half of the cubed butternut squash. Toss to coat with the oil. Let cook until lightly browned on several sides.

Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining butternut squash. Remove to a bowl.

2 Cook the onions and spices: Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pot. Add the chopped onion. Lower the heat to medium and cook for a few minutes to soften.

Then add the curry powder, ground ginger, and nutmeg. Cook for a few minutes more.

3 Add the chopped pear, and toss to coat. Cook for a minute more.

4 Add water, stock, pear nectar, salt, pepper, then simmer: Add the browned butternut squash to the onion pear mixture. Add the water, stock, pear nectar, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil on high heat; partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.

5 Purée: Purée using a stick blender or if using a standing blender, purée a third of the soup at a time.

If the soup is too thick for you, add a little water to thin it. If it is too thin for you, bring it to a boil and let it boil down a bit.

6 Add cream: Turn off heat. Stir in 1/4 cup of cream.

Ladle soup into bowls, and garnish with pear slices.

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Curried Squash and Pear Soup

6 Comments

  1. Lynn

    This is really good. I made a few substitutions because I didn’t have nectar. My family loved it.

  2. Candace

    After one bite, my husband declared this to be the best soup ever! I was unable to find pear nectar anywhere but ran across apricot nectar which seemed to work as a substitute. Would this soup freeze well? We like to make extra for freezing but I wasn’t sure what the cream in it would do. Thanks for the great recipe!

    I haven’t tried freezing it, but if you do, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise

  3. Liz

    This was wonderful! I generally don’t like squash soups, but I had some squash in my freezer and decided it was time to use it. Beautiful marrying of flavors. Thanks for expanding my palate!

  4. Melissa

    AMAZING! This is one of the best soups I have ever made – and it got rave reviews at our Halloween party. I usually don’t follow a recipe this closely, but I only made one change & it was SO GOOD! I used Red Curry Powder & it gave it just a little bit more kick. The flavors & tastes were layered perfectly…sweet & salty! I highly reccommend this recipe!

  5. Laura

    Interesting flavours, but far, far too much curry. I’ll definately make it again, but as a side rather than as a main dish, and with about half the curry. I must say, it was fun to make.

  6. Traci

    This was incredibly delicious! I made it exactly as written – wouldn’t change a thing. It was creamy, had just enough of a bite without overpowering it and the pear added a very nice flavor. I made it for Thanksgiving last year and we’re still all talking about it.

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