Butternut Squash Soup with Crispy Prosciutto
- 8 oz thinly sliced prosciutto
- 5 TBSP unsalted butter
- 4 red Anjou pears, cored and cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 4 celery stalks, cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 2 yellow onions, cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 6 garlic cloves minced
- 2 jars(each 2 lb) butternut squash puree
- 4 cups chicken broth, plus more if needed
- 2 tsp minced fresh thyme
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 cup half and half
Preheat oven 350
Arrange the prosciutto slices in a single layer on a 2 baking sheets and bake until crisp about 20 mins. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the prosciutto cool completely.
Meanwhile, in a 5 1/2 quart Dutch oven over med high heat, melt 2 TBSP of the butter. Add enough pear slices to form a single layer and cook, turning once, until caramelized on both sides, 4-5 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. Repeat to cook the remaining pears.
In the same pot over med heat, melt the remaining 3 TBSP butter. Add the celery and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 mins. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the butternut squash puree, the 4 cups broth, thyme, half of the pears, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to med low and simmer for 10 mins.
Using a blender, puree the soup in batches until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and stir in the half and half 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 12