Roasted Pumpkin and Pear Soup with Stilton Cheese Garnish
Adapted from Eating Well Magazine; ready in 1 1/4 hours, 40 minutes active time. This soup can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for a month. Serves 6. This could easily be made into a vegan preparation by using vegetable stock and garnishing with toasted pumpkin seeds.
2 ripe pears, peeled, quartered and cored
2 pounds pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch 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 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon 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 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh chives, or scallion greens
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Combine pears, squash, tomatoes, leek, garlic, oil, 1/4 teaspoon 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 2 cups broth in a blender; puree until smooth. Transfer to a large saucepan. Puree the remaining vegetables and 2 cups broth. Add to the pan and stir in the remaining 1/4 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 scallion greens).