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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup with Crispy Prosciutto

4 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto
2 1/2 Tbs ghee
2 red Anjou pears, cored and cut in 1/4 inch slices
2 celery stalks cut in 1/2 inch slices
1 yellow onions cut in 1/2 inch slices
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jar butternut (2 LB) squash puree (Williams-Sonoma Stores) or cook your own.
2 cups organic chicken broth
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup coconut milk

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Arrange the prosciutto slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 20 minutes.  Transfer to wire racks and let the prosciutto cool completely.

Meanwhile, in a 5 1/2 quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt 1 tbl. ghee.  Add enough pear slices to form a single layer and cook, turning once, until caramelized on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.  Repeat to cook the remaining pears.

In the same pot over medium heat, melt the remaining ghee.  Add celery and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Stir in the butternut squash puree, the 2 cups of broth, thyme, half of the pears, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Using a blender, puree the soup in batches until smooth.  Return the soup to the pot and stir in the coconut milk.  Add more broth if needed to reach the desired consistency.  Ladle the soup into bowls.  Garnish with the prosciutto and remaining pear slices.  Serve immediately.  Serves 6.

Recipe from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen

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