With Thanksgiving one week away, there is still plenty of time to deliberate over the menu. One thing is for sure, though, and that is that I’ll be serving soup as a warming and tantalizing opener at our Autumnal Feast.
I turned to my good friend, food writer and cookbook author, Ronnie Fein, for inspiration here. Together we deliberated between a parsnip and carrot soup and Pumpkin Bisque. While I find the subtle sweetness of parsnips alluring, it occurred to me that I had never integrated pears into soup before, so the Pumpkin Bisque won out.
The contrast of the curry against the sweetness of ripe pears, the velvety texture after blending, and the happy burst of orange brightness come together to make an unusual soup course. Consider making it a couple of day’s ahead so the flavors have time to meld.
Thank you to Bobbie Bernstein, for her photo of Parsnip Man. I love the way her sense of humor and keen eye come together as she peers through her lens.
Recipe courtesy of Ronnie Fein, HIP KOSHER.
- 2 T butter or vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
- 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
- 1 1/2 t curry powder
- 1/8 t cayenne pepper
- pinch of ground cinnamon
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 cup coconut milk or soy milk (plain and unsweetened)
- salt, to taste
- 2 T minced fresh chives or 1/4 cup toasted coconut
- Heat the butter in large saucepan over medium heat.
- When the butter has melted and looks foamy, add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes or until slightly softened.
- Add the pear chunks, pumpkin puree, curry powder, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, stock and coconut milk.
- Mix ingredients thoroughly.
- Bring to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes.
- Puree the soup and return it to the pan to heat (or use a hand blender)
- Season to taste with salt.
- Serve with chives or toasted coconut
From Ronnie: This is one of my favorite soups. The coconut milk makes it rich, thick and sweet, and tempers the spicy curry and cayenne. I've made this soup using soy milk, and it's tasty that way, too. For a meat meal, use vegetable oil and chicken stock; for a dairy meal use butter and vegetable stock.