|Sweet, spicy and delicious!|
Pureed soups are a great way to introduce a new fruit or vegetable to reluctant eaters of all ages - people can become wary of new flavors and new textures; a new fruit or vegetable may be both the the person. Since we all ate smooth baby food, we are usually comfortable with this texture. Pureeing also makes it harder for the eater to identify what is in the pot. Think your child, husband or roommate will balk at eating pumpkin? Call it something that they do like - Superbowl soup, Orange crayon soup, sunshine soup...you know your audience, sell, sell, sell!
For creamy and smooth soup, you need to use a blender or immersion blender. If you're going low tech, you could chop the fruits and veggies finely and then after cooking, mash with a potato masher for a chunky soup instead (just call it "rustic" and you can get away with a lot!). But, if you love soup as much as I do, an immersion blender is a great tool to have in your kitchen; big work horse without taking up a lot of cupboard space. And plus, you don't have to blend a big pot of soup in batches.
Pumpkin Pear Pureed Soup
Makes 4-6 bowls of soup
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 cups cubed pumpkin, raw or roasted (or butternut squash, or 1 15-oz can pumpkin puree)
- 2 medium pears, cored and cubed (no need to peel)
- 2-4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Mrs Dash Extra Spicy Blend (or crushed red pepper)
- 1 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
- If you wish to roast your pumpkin or butternut squash first, please find directions here. This lends to a more developed flavor, but is optional.
- In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, warm up your vegetable oil and add diced bell pepper, onion and garlic. Saute for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Add cubed pear and squash and add just enough broth to cover the vegetables. Cover pot and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer 3-20 minutes or until pears and squash are tender when poked with a fork; takes no time if using roasted or canned squash, takes a bit longer if using raw. Just keep checking :)
- Using your immersion blender, or a counter top blender in batches, puree soup until smooth. Or, mash a whole lot with a potato masher. Add more stock if you'd like the soup to be thinner.
- Taste seasonings; add salt, pepper and Mrs Dash to taste. Add 3/4 cup yogurt and stir until smooth.
- To serve, pour into a bowl or soup mug and add a dollop from the reserved yogurt. Top with more Mrs. Dash, if you wish.