Roasted Pear and Squash Soup with Parmesan Croutons
2 lbs butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 firm but ripe Anjou or Bartlett USA Pears, halved lengthwise and cored
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
½ cup heavy whipping cream
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 Tbsp sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups ½-inch cubes of French bread, crusts removed
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350°. Brush the flesh of the squash and pears with olive oil and place cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast 30 – 35 minutes or until tender.
Scrape out the flesh of the squash and pears with a spoon and put in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Discard the skins. Puree until smooth. Add 1 – 2 cups chicken broth and continue processing until smooth. Pour mixture into a saucepan; add the remaining chicken broth, cream, nutmeg, and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Place bread cubes in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over, add Parmesan, and toss until coated. Spread in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake 10 – 12 minutes until toasty brown.
To serve, ladle the soup into individual soup bowls and garnish with croutons.