Squash & Apple or Pear Soup

Winter Squashes

Winter Squashes

By Cat, Sept 2007 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

When I first learned about squash soup from Anna Thomas’s The New Vegetarian Epicure, I was quite skeptical. For one thing, I don’t like my squash puréed. And putting apples or pears in soup?  Unthinkable! But I tried the Gingered Squash & Apple Soup, and all I can say is WOW!  It is now my favorite soup. Squash and Pear Soup is a close second.

Different varieties of winter squash and apples or pears give different results, depending on sweetness.  Some squash is quite sweet and works best with slightly tart apples (like Granny Smith or Macintosh).  Other squash is more mild, and works best with sweeter apples or pears.  (Refer to Apple Info for more on apple varieties). You can also vary the flavor of the soup by using different herbs, and by adding cream.

While it’s fun to experiment, I recommend following either recipe as given the first time.  I prefer to add a bit of cream right before serving, while others may prefer it without cream.

Squash and Pear Soup

Butternut, acorn or banana squash work best in this recipe.  Avoid very sweet squash like Tahitian or Kabocha.  Sweet pears, such as Anjou or Bartlett work best. Or try sweet apple (like Golden Delicious).

This recipe is adapted from The New Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas (1).  You will note that I use homemade chicken stock (for its gelatin content) instead of vegetable broth, but you can use either.

Serves 6 – 8.


Ingredients & Equipment:

  • 1 pound whole squash (about 10 oz trimmed & seeded)
  • 1 large yam or sweet potato (about 10 oz)
  • 2 cups Homemade Chicken Stock (try my rich chicken stock recipe on that page) or vegetable broth
  • 1 ½ cups filtered water
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp Unrefined sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 3 large pears
  • ⅓ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup raw light cream (or half & half)
  • white pepper, to taste
  • stock pot
  • cast iron skillet
  • blender


  1. Peel, core and slice the pears thinly.  Set aside.
  2. Peel, seed, and dice the squash. Peel and dice the yam. Put both in a stock pot with the chicken stock/vegetable broth, water, cinnamon stick and salt. Simmer until veggies are tender, about 40 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick.
  3. Melt butter in a cast iron skillet. Add onions and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until they begin to caramelize. Add sliced pears and continue cooking for about 5 minutes, stirring often.  Add wine; cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add pear mixture to the soup and then puree in a blender in batches. Cover the blender, but remove the center part of the lid so that steam can escape. Rinse the stock pot.  Pour each batch into the rinsed pot. Add optional cream and white pepper, and a bit more salt if needed. Heat again just to a simmer; DO NOT BOIL.

Serving Suggestions:

See below.

Gingered Squash and Apple Soup

This soup is best with a sweet squash like Tahitian, but kabocha, buttercup, acorn or banana squash will do.  I like to use tart apples like Granny Smith or Macintosh, but the original recipe calls for sweet apples (like Golden Delicious).

This recipe is adapted from The New Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas (1).  You will note that I use homemade chicken stock (for its gelatin content) instead of vegetable broth, but you can use either.

Serves 6 – 8.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • 2 ½ pounds whole sweet winter squash
  • 2 ½ Tbsp butter
  • 1 – 2 medium red onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound apples; peeled, cored and sliced
  • 4 ½ cups Homemade Chicken Stock (try my rich chicken stock recipe on that page) or vegetable broth
  • ¾ cup dry white wine (such as dry vermouth)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp minced fresh ginger root
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • Unrefined sea salt, and ground black pepper to taste
  • baking sheet
  • large sauté pan
  • blender



  1. Prep: Do not peel squash.  Cut squash in half, or in thick slices, remove and discard seeds, and place squash cut side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet.  Roast in 3750 F oven for 50-60 minutes, or until soft.  Cover with foil during roasting if the squash is cut in slices.
  2. While squash is cooking, coarsely chop the onion and set aside. Peel, core and slice apples and set aside in separate bowl
  3. Peel and mince the ginger root, and set aside. Wash and chop the cilantro and add to the squash
  4. When squash is done, let it cool until you can handle it; then scoop out the soft flesh and measure out 3 cups; if there is any left-over, freeze it for future use.
  5. Soup: Melt butter in a very large sauté pan.  Cook the onions in the melted butter over medium heat, stirring often, until very soft.  Add apple slices and a little salt.  Keep cooking for 15 minutes more, stirring frequently.
  6. Add cooked squash, stock, wine, ginger and chopped cilantro.  Simmer for another 15 minutes.  It should be very soft.
  7. Puree the soup in the blender in batches until perfectly smooth.  Cover blender, but remove center part of the lid so steam can escape.
  8. Pour each pureed batch into a serving bowl, and serve while still hot.

Serving Suggestions for Squash and Apple/Pear Soups

  • Serve plain, or garnish with chopped chives or sprigs of cilantro.
  • Add a splash of raw cream or half and half, or a dollop of creme fraiche in each bowl.


  1. The New Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas (see Beloved Cookbooks for more info)

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