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Butternut Soup with Pears and Apples 
 
INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 4 cups cubed peeled butternut squash ((about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 cup chopped peeled Braeburn or other cooking apple
  • 1 cup chopped peeled Anjou pear
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons  Maple Grove Farms' Pure Maple Syrup
DIRECTIONS:
Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and celery; saute 4 minutes or until tender. Add squash and next 8 ingredients (squash through bay leaf) and bring to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until tender. Discard bay leaf. Place half of squash mixture in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Pour pureed mixture into a bowl. Repeat the procedure with remaining squash mixture. Return pureed mixture to pan and stir in syrup. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
 
YIELD:  Serves 7 (1 cup each)