Pear and Autumn-Vegetable Soup
- 2 medium Bartlett pears (8 to 10 ounces each) and 4 small Bartlett pears (about 6 ounces each)
- 1 sugar pumpkin or butternut squash (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 turnip (about 3 ounces), trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 sprig fresh sage
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, cut 2 medium pears lengthwise into paper-thin slices. Arrange the slices in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until pears are dry, about 1 hour. Let cool completely on sheet on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, peel remaining 4 pears; halve lengthwise, and core. Place pears, pumpkin, turnip, sage, and 1 teaspoon salt in a 4-quart stockpot. Cover with water (at least 4 cups). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
Pour mixture through a sieve into a medium bowl, reserving broth and discarding sage. Puree solids in a food processor or blender, adding up to 1/2 cup reserved broth as needed.
Return puree to the pot. Stir in 3 to 4 cups reserved broth to achieve desired consistency. Bring soup to a simmer over medium-low heat. Whisk in cream, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Serve garnished with dried pears.