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Recipe Friday: Winter Warmup with Pears

Nothing warms the body and soul like a bowl of soup on a cold winter’s day. When there’s a chill in the air, soup can bring nourishment and a sense of comfort. The winter months are also an ideal time to experiment in the kitchen, as the frigid temperatures keep many of us cozied up indoors. Pears may not be top of mind when you think of soup, but they offer a unique flavor and texture to bowls both sweet and savory. Pears are also an excellent source of fiber and a good source of vitamin C, making them a healthy and delicious ingredient. Whether sautéed with veggies before stock is added, roasted and pureed to blend with stocks, or simply chopped and added to a simmering broth, pears are a tasty and fun way to step up your soup game. These soups from USA Pears will add an abundance of warmth and sweetness to the winter months; and December just so happens to be National Pear Month! 

Multigatawny Soup with Chicken, Pears, and Coconut

Yield: 4-6


2 T butter, divided
1 lb chicken breast, cut into ½ inch pieces
Salt and pepper
1 ea. medium yellow onion, medium dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1½ tsp Madras curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
4 cups chicken broth
1 lb sweet potatoes, medium dice
2 ea. firm USA Pears, such as Concorde or Comice, medium dice
1 (13.5 oz.) can coconut milk
¾ cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted
1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves


In a large soup pot over medium heat melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the diced chicken and season generously with salt and pepper. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes or until just cooked through. Transfer chicken to a small bowl. Add the remaining butter to the same pan and saute the onion until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and all three spices and saute for one minute more. Next, add the chicken broth to deglaze the pan, stirring to pick up any browned bits. Add the diced sweet potatoes to the liquid, cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover and reduce to a simmer, cooking for 6 – 8 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender. Add the diced pears and continue to simmer for 5 minutes more. Stir in the coconut milk and season the soup to taste with more salt and pepper if necessary. Divide the soup between bowls and garnish each with the toasted coconut and cilantro.

Roasted Pear and Delicata Squash Soup with Parmesan Croutons

Yield: 6

Ingredients for Soup

2 lbs delicata squash or butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
2 ea. firm but ripe Anjou or Bartlett USA Pears, cut in half lengthwise and cored
2 T olive oil
4 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth
½ cup heavy whipping cream
¼ tspfreshly grated nutmeg
1 T sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the flesh of the squash and pears with olive oil and place, cut side down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tender when pierced with a fork, about 30 to 35 minutes.
  2. Use a spoon to scrape out the flesh of the squash and pears, and put in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Discard the skins. Puree until smooth. Add 1 to 2 cups of the chicken broth and continue processing until smooth. Put this mixture in a 3 ½- to 4-quart saucepan, add the remaining chicken broth, cream, nutmeg, and sugar. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Ingredients for Parmesan Croutons

2 cups ½-inch cubes of French or rustic white bread, crusts removed
1 T olive oil
2 T grated Parmesan cheese


  1. For croutons: Place the bread cubes in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over, add Parmesan, and toss the bread cubes until thoroughly coated. Spread in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until toasty brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside until ready to serve.
  2. When ready to serve, ladle the soup into a warmed soup tureen or individual soup bowls, garnish with the croutons, and serve immediately.

Pear and Sunchoke Soup with Chanterelle Mushrooms and Bacon

Yield: 8

Ingredients for Soup

2 T butter
1 ea. small onion, thinly sliced
1½ lbs sunchokes, peeled and diced (yields about 1 pound)
3-4 cups sparkling water
2 ea. medium-size ripe Bosc or Bartlett USA Pears, peeled, cored, diced
Salt and fresh ground black pepper


Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add onions. Stir over medium-low heat about 8 minutes until soft, do not brown. Add sunchokes and 3 cups sparkling water. Bring to a simmer and cook with vented lid until sunchokes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add pears and cook about 4 minutes until softened. Puree soup in a blender or food processor. Add additional sparkling water as needed for desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Ingredients for Chanterelle Mushroom Garnish

4 oz bacon, diced
1 tsp unsalted butter
4 oz chanterelle mushrooms
⅓ cup thinly sliced shallot


  1. While soup is cooking, prepare garnish: Cook bacon with butter in a skillet over medium heat until some of the fat is rendered but bacon is still soft. Bacon should not crisp. Add mushrooms and cook until their liquid is released, 4-5 minutes. Add shallots; cook over low heat until shallots are softened and flavors are melded, about 15 minutes. Makes about ¾ cup.
  2. To serve: Place 2 heaping tablespoons mushroom garnish in a shallow bowl. Pour hot soup over and serve immediately.

Pear and Sweet Corn Soup with Basil-Macadamia Pesto

Ingredients for Pesto

2 cups lightly packed basil leaves
3 T macadamia nuts (about 10 nuts)
2 tsp fresh lime juice
¼ tsp salt
1 T canola oil


Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse several times. Scrape down the sides once or twice and continue to pulse until you get a chunky, scoopable pesto. Set aside until the soup is ready.

Ingredients for Soup

4 ea. ripe USA Pears, such as Green Anjou, cut into quarters
3 cups corn kernels
1 T chopped fresh ginger
4 cups water
1 tspsalt
1 cup coconut milk


In a medium pot, combine the pears, corn, ginger, and water. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the soup to cool for 15-20 minutes. Once cooled slightly, puree the soup in a blender in batches until smooth. For a perfectly smooth soup, pass the liquid through a fine mesh strainer. Return the soup to the pot over low heat and stir in the salt and coconut milk. Once warmed through, the soup is ready to serve. To each bowl of soup, add a generous spoonful of the Basil-Macadamia Pesto.

Cauliflower Soup and Red Anjou Pear


3 ea. ripe Red Anjou pears
2 ea. coarsely chopped onions
3 ea. peeled garlic cloves
1 ea. large washed cauliflower
2 ea. medium zucchini
3 T olive oil
1¾ oz of butter
1 cup of milk
2 cups of water
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a medium saucepan, gently fry the onion and garlic cloves in olive oil and butter until softened.
  2. Add the cauliflower decomposed to flowers and the roughly cut zucchini.
  3. Add milk and water almost to cover and bring to a boil.
  4. Cook on a small flame until the vegetables are completely tender. Puree with a rod blender and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Before serving, cut the pears into small cubes, pour soup into serving plates and place in cut pears and drizzle olive oil – serve immediately.

Curried Butternut Squash and Pear Bisque


¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 ea. large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1½ lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeds and strings scooped out, and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 ea. large USA Pear, preferably Bosc, peeled, halved, cored, and coarsely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4½ tsp mild curry powder
1 cup apple cider
3 cups water
1 cup heavy cream
Crème fraîche, for garnish
Dill sprigs, for garnish


  1. In a 6-quart soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion, stirring frequently, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the squash and pear and season with salt and pepper. Decrease the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash softens and slightly caramelizes, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add the curry powder and continue stirring for 1 minute to let the curry flavors bloom. Pour in the apple cider. Increase the heat to medium, add the 3 cups water, and simmer until the squash is completely cooked through, about 30 minutes.
  3. Stir in the cream and return the soup to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. In batches, carefully liquefy the hot soup in a blender.
  4. To serve, pour the soup into bowls and garnish with a dollop of crème fraîche and dill sprigs.
  5. This soup can be made a day in advance, cooked in an ice-water bath, and refrigerated overnight.

Pear & Parsnip Soup with Fried Rosemary


2 T butter
1½ cups chopped leeks (white and light green)
1½ lbs parsnips
2 ea. red or green Anjou pears (peeled, cored, chopped)
5 cups vegetable broth
1/3 cup heavy cream
1½ cups canned low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
½ tsp lemon juice
1 T fresh rosemary leaves
2 T olive oil


  1. Heat 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter in pot over medium. Add 1 1/2 cups (375 mL chopped leeks (white and light green). Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add 1 1/2 lbs (680 g) parsnips (peeled, chopped), 2 red or green Anjou pears (peeled, cored, chopped) and 5 cups (1.25 L) vegetable broth. Raise heat to high. When it comes to boil, reduce heat to simmer. Cook until parsnips are soft, 10 to 12 minutes.
  2. Purée soup in blender in batches until smooth. Transfer to clean pot over low heat. Stir in 1/3 cup (80 mL) heavy cream and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) lemon juice. Season with salt.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh rosemary leaves and 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil in small frying pan over medium. Cook until rosemary stops sizzling, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat. Cool slightly. Ladle soup into warmed bowls. Garnish



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