Squash is a seasonal vegetable during the winter season and makes for one creamy and comforting soup.
Though it's wonderfully good on it's own and will satisfy as a main meal, I love to serve my squash soup as a starter at dinner parties in little bowls or double shot glasses. Paired with a scrumptious pumpkin pie cocktail, squash soup gets a sweet enhancement and both will win two thumbs up from party guests.
2 packages of frozen winter squash puree (or make your own!)
2 cups chicken or veggie stock
1 teaspoon dried parsley
3 cloves of garlic minced
3 small shallots finely minced
1 tablespoon mango & ginger chutney (Truly Indian Bengali Mango and Ginger Chutney is terrific)
1/3 cup light coconut milk
1 pear peeled and cored
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon agave syrup
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a large saute pan, cook the shallots in the olive oil over low heat until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Take care not to brown or burn the garlic. Add in the agave syrup, white balsamic and the slices of the pear, making sure they don't crowd the pan. Turn the heat to low and let simmer, stirring occasionally.
Cook the frozen squash packages according to the directions.
In a large soup/stock pot, add the squash puree, let simmer a few minutes, and then add in the parsley, cooked shallot, pear, and garlic mixture. Let simmer over very low heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in the chicken stock and let simmer for another 5 minutes. With a tasting spoon, check the flavor of the soup. If you want it a bit sweeter, add in more agave, and add in your salt and pepper according to taste.
In batches, puree the soup in a blender, or if you have an immersion blender you can puree the soup with it. If the soup is too thick, add more stock as you puree it.
Pour the pureed soup back into the stockpot and whisk in the coconut milk until smooth and creamy. If you want a truly creamy and lump free soup, you can strain the soup through a sieve or over a few layers of cheesecloth. Ladle and serve. Yum!