I have lost count of the number of friends who have asked for this recipe. I cut the original from a weekend newspaper and it has undergone a few changes over the years, resulting in this - the best version. The ginger balances beautifully with the sweetness of the pear. It freezes very well for up to 3 months.
photo: Danella Chalmers
1 large butternut squash (you will need 500g cooked weight)
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
25g fresh ginger
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
2 just ripe pears
570ml chicken or vegetable stock
125ml double cream (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Small bunch of chives
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/350F/Gas 4. Cut the squash in half along the length and scoop out all the seeds, then cut into quarters. Lay cut side up in a roasting tray, drizzle with a little oil and cover with foil. Roast for 30-45 minutes until tender and allow to cool, then scoop out the flesh. Weigh out 500g.
Peel and finely chop the onion, garlic and ginger. Heat oil in a large pan with a lid. Stir in the onion, garlic and ginger plus 1/2 tsp salt. Lower the heat, cover and cook very gently for 10 - 15 minutes, they shouldn't brown.
Pee, core and roughly dice the pears, stir into the pot with the stock and simmer, covered for 20 minutes. Add the squash.
Puree the soup in a food processor, add the cream if using. Taste and adjust the seasoning then serve garnished with chopped chives.