Winter squash and pear soup with sage

The earthy flavor of sage complements the sweetness of this squash and pear soup. Use half and half or coconut milk to add a creamy texture.

The Garden of Eating
Autumn crown squash and pears combine for a deliciously sweet fall soup.

We got a beautiful autumn crown squash from our CSA recently. It looked like something out of an old Dutch masters still life and was almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
 I'd never tried this variety of winter squash before and am happy to report that it has sweet, orange flesh and makes a delicious soup. I also had a few lovely pears from Migliorelli Farm that I thought would go nicely based on a similar soup that chef Curt Robair made at the farmer's market last week – I loved that it was both sweet and savory. And warm! Last week was the first time this fall it's been chilly at the market so I was very grateful for the little cup of hot soup I was clutching in my paws.

I did not have time to roast the squash so I peeled, seeded and cubed it, instead. It cooks quickly in the broth for the soup.

I knew I wanted to use sage in this soup as I think its aromatic, earthy flavor is a perfect complement to the sweetness of the squash. I would have used fresh sage but our plant died this summer because I failed to water it thinking that it would not mind – wrong! So I got out the jar of sage I'd dried last fall, instead.

I sautéed onions and garlic in olive oil and added the dried sage before dumping in the cubed squash and pears.

Then I added vegetable broth and let it simmer for 10 or so minutes until the squash was cooked through and perfectly soft. I added a little half and half to amp up the creaminess but you could skip it or use coconut milk, instead if you do not eat dairy. Then I busted out my trusty wand blender and made quick work of turning the mixture into a beautiful, orange, velvety smooth soup.

I topped it with a generous dollop of sour cream – the rich, tangy flavor is a perfect foil for the sweet, savory soup. I finished my bowl and immediately went back for more.

Winter Squash & Pear Soup with Sage
 Serves 4-6
 1 large winter squash (butternut, autumn crown, kabocha, sugar pumpkin, etc.,)
 1 medium or large onion, diced
 2 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed
 1-2 pears, cored and diced
 2 tablespoons dried sage, crumbled or 5 leaves fresh, chopped
 1 quart vegetable broth
 1/2 cup half-n-half, heavy cream or coconut milk (optional)
 Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
 2 tablespoons olive oil
 1. In a large pot over medium heat, sautee the onion in the olive oil until translucent (2-3) minutes, then add the garlic and sage and cook for another 1-2 minutes until it begins to smell amazing but before it starts to brown. Add the cubed squash and pear and sautee for another 2-3 minutes.
 2. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes, until the squash is cooked through and soft when poked with a fork. Turn the heat off, add the cream or coconut milk and puree the soup using an immersion hand blender. If you do not already have one of these wonderful tools (more on why I love mine), please get one! In the meantime, you can either purée the soup in batches in your blender (which is a pain, in my opinion) or just mash it with a potato masher if you don't care about having a really smooth soup.
 3. Serve warm topped with a dollop of sour cream (though that is optional if you do not eat dairy, of course!) Especially nice when accompanied with some brown rice or some toast with butter.

Related post on The Garden of Eating: Quick Curried Butternut Squash Soup

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Winter squash and pear soup with sage
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today