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So this recipe has very little to do with herbs, but it was such a hit at my family’s Christmas dinner that I just had to share it.  However it does have cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) and ginger (Zingiber officinalis), which are both in my material medica… so voila, herb related!

The following soup recipe is from the ‘refresh’ cookbook put out by Fresh vegetarian restaurants.

Butternut Squash and Pear Soup

1 inch                    ginger root, peeled and minced

1                              cinnamon stick

1                              butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced

1                              sweet potato, peed and diced

6 cups                   vegetable stock

1 tbsp.                  olive oil

1                              onion, peeled and chopped

1/3 cup                 white wine *

2                              pears, cored and sliced

½ cup                    coconut milk

1 tsp.                     sea salt

1 tsp.                     white pepper

½                             red pepper, diced

* instead of white wine we used a cooking wine from a local winery, Applewood Farm Winery, called Smok’in Apple.

  • Put the ginger, cinnamon stick, squash and sweet potato in a soup pot.  Cover with vegetable stock.  Bring to a boil; then reduce to simmer.
  • While the vegetables are simmering in the soup pot, heat olive oil in a frying pan.  Add onion and cook until caramelized, about five minutes.
  • Add white wine and chopped pears to the pan.  Cook for 5 minutes until wine is reduced; then add to the soup pot.
  • When the squash and sweet potatoes are cooked, about 30 minutes, add the coconut milk, salt and pepper.  Remove from heat.  Take out the cinnamon stick.
  • Puree in a food processor or with a hand blender.  To puree in a blender or processor, first let the soup cool; then reheat to serve.  With hand blender, you can puree while the soup is still hot.
  • Garnish with finely diced red pepper and serve.