A slightly more sophisticated looking dinner than last week, using very similar ingredients.
And, this soup rocked. Butternut squash, pear, and turnip? Yes, please. I already had one standard butternut squash soup recipe, but now it has competition in the rotation. You can definitely taste the pear in it, though the spicy turnip balances everything out, keeping it from being too sweet. The recipe looks simple, and I was tempted to add some leeks or garlic or something. I didn’t, and I found I didn’t need to. It works perfectly just as it is.
The fancy floating pear was pretty easy to do, so try it out and impress your guests with your oh-so-Martha presentation.
On the side, a mix of mustard greens and salad greens. I dressed it with olive oil and cider vinegar (not local), with a tiny splash of maple syrup (a local-to-them gift from family in Massachusetts). The maple dressing was really good on the bitter, spicy mustard greens.
All and all, a delicious winter meal.
Pear and Autumn Vegetable Soup
Recipe by Martha Stewart
4 small Bartlett pears (about 6 ounces each), plus an additional larger pear to use for the garnish
1 sugar pumpkin or butternut squash (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 turnip (about 3 ounces), trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 sprig fresh sage
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, white if you have it
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Cut the larger pear into paper thin pieces, using a mandoline or sharp knife. Pick out the seeds and stem. Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, cut 2 medium pears lengthwise into paper-thin slices. Arrange the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake about 1 hour, or until the pears are dry. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Peal the remaining pears. Halve lengthwise and core. Add the pears, squash or pumpkin, and the turnip to a 4 quart stockpot with the sage and a teaspoon of salt. Cover with water (at least 4 cups) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
Discard the sage. Carefully transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and puree in batches. Return the soup to the pot and bring up to a simmer over medium-low heat. Whisk in the cream, salt, and pepper. Serve with the dried pears as a garnish.