Thursday, November 4, 2010

Roasted Vegetable Pear Soup

One of the issues many people face in subscribing to a CSA is that they are left with produce that they would not normally buy, or that is unfamiliar to them. Enter soup - the greatest vessel for miscellaneous foods that have no home.

I make most vegetable soups vegan, but I thought this soup might do nicely with some meat flavors, and I think that was a good decision. This soup has a pork stock base, which marries particularly well with the pear, pumpkin, and beets. The pork stock adds not only flavor, but also lots of nutrients, most notably calcium. If you prefer to make this soup vegan, it would still be very tasty using a vegetable or onion stock, or even plain salted water.

This soup can be prepared as a puree or as a chunky soup. I think the latter is really the better option, but I made it as a puree so that my little guy could eat it more easily (and so he has!). The recipe below is written as a puree with noted adjustments to make it chunky instead.

Roasted Vegetable Pear Soup
2 lb. pumpkin (or other winter squash), seeded, peeled and cubed (small dice for chunky)
1 small rutabaga, peeled, trimmed of ends, and cubed (small dice for chunky)
12 small turnips, trimmed of ends and cubed (small dice for chunky)
3 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed of ends, and cut into thick slices (small dice for chunky)
2 medium beets, peeled, trimmed of ends, and cubed (small dice for chunky)
3 shallots, peeled and quartered (chopped for chunky)
2 stalks celery, cut into chunks (small dice for chunky)
2 Tbsps. olive oil
2 Tbsps. safflower oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 lbs. pork neck bones (your local sustainable meat farmer will likely have this very inexpensive treat in the freezer)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 ripe pears, cored, peeled and cubed
2 bay leaves
10 cups water
1/4 cup chopped fennel fronds

Pre-heat the oven to 425F. Combine the pumpkin, rutabaga, turnips, carrots, beets, shallots, celery, and oils in a large covered baking dish. Season well with salt and pepper. Cover and roast for 1 hour and 20 minutes, stirring twice along the way.

Transfer roasted vegetables to a large stock pot. Add the pork necks, vinegar, pears, bay leaves, water and additional salt and pepper. Bring to a bubble, and then reduce heat to medium low. Simmer, covered, for 2 hours.

Remove bones and bay leaves. Pick apart the meat from the bones, and set aside (roughly 1/2 - 1 cup).

Using an immersion blender (or a regular blender), puree the soup (if you prefer a chunky soup, skip the pureeing). Return the meat to the pot. Add the fennel fronds. Adjust seasonings. Serve hot.

Serves 10-12.

1 comment:

sharkhind said...

i know many recipes of chayote but i never try this one. thanks