Pumpkin & pear soup with crumbled Stilton

Pumpkin & pear soup with crumbled Stilton

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Pears are roasted to sweet perfection with butternut pumpkin and puréed to create a creamy soup that gets a luxurious garnish of Stilton cheese.

You can serve this as a first course or with a salad and crusty bread for a light autumn supper.

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 2 ripe pears, peeled, quartered and cored
  • 1 kg butternut pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 5 cm chunks
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cored and quartered
  • 1 large leek, pale green and white parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced and washed thoroughly
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt, divided
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4 cups vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 2⁄3 cup crumbled Stilton or other blue-veined cheese
  • 1 tbsp thinly sliced fresh chives
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

Combine pears, pumpkin, tomatoes, leek, garlic, oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl; toss to coat. Spread evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 40 to 55 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Place half the vegetables and two cups broth in a blender; purée until smooth. Transfer to a large saucepan. Purée the remaining vegetables and two cups broth. Add to the pan and stir in the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt.

Cook the soup over medium-low heat, stirring, until hot, about 10 minutes. Divide among 6 bowls and garnish with cheese and chives (or shallots).

Author: Shannon Dunn

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