Fall came in with a whimper yesterday afternoon in the ocean state. A nice sunny day, but with just the suggestion of a chill in the air. And with the temperatures dropping, we’re prepping for some cooler weather by stirring up a good hearty pot of hot soup.
Soup is easy on the budget too. A bowl of hot soup or chowder makes a nice meal offering, along with perhaps some crusty bread and a tossed salad. Take it easy on your pocketbook and save some money on the ingredients by taking advantage of seasonal special ingredients, such as apples and pears. Mix in some celery and onions for added flavor, and simmer the mixture in a pot of vegetable broth until the pears are tender.
A few whirls in the blender makes this soup into a delightful puree (you can also use a hand immersion blender in the pan on the stove). Stir in a bit of cream, or half & half. If you’re watching calories, of course, you can substitute milk or a non-dairy milk such or soy or rice milk.
Cream of Pear and Celery Soup
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 medium onions, chopped
1 bunch celery, chopped (about 3-1/2 cups)
6 cups unsalted vegetable broth
1-1/2 pounds pears, cored, peeled, and chopped
½ cup heavy cream, or half & half, or non-dairy milk
Salt and pepper to taste
In large pan, melt butter over low heat. Add onions and celery; cook, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes, or until celery is tender and onions are transparent. Add broth and pears. Increase heat to medium, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let mixture simmer, covered, for about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pears are tender. Use an emersion hand blender to puree the mixture. Or, cool slightly, and blend in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add cream and heat on low, stirring. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If desired, sprinkle with chopped parsley to serve. Makes 6 servings.