Fall-Soup-and-Salad-webThis weeks inspiration comes from the pear tree in my back yard and my weekly CSA at Green Meadow Farms.  Squash soup is a classic and star anise really brightens it up.  I think a warm salad lends a certain elegance. Check out this excellent pairing Warm Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Shallots and Bacon.

I love using different types of fun, small plates and bowls for serving.  This time of year you don’t have to go any further than your back yard to find some fun plate garnish as well.

Ingredients for the soup:

  • 3 star anise seed pods
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 2 # butternut squash, peeled seeded, and cubed
  • 2 Bosc pears, peeled, cored and cubed
  • 1 large brown onion, peeled, and diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1/4 inch chive for garnish

Method for the soup:

  • Put stock and star anise and bay leaf in a covered pot, bring to a boil, then take off heat and let steep for 30 minutes.
  • Add squash, pear, and onion and let simmer covered, until very tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Discard star anise and bay leaf.
  • Puree in blender until smooth then finish with heavy cream and season to taste.

Serve soup in demitasse cup and garnish with chive.


Jimmy Smith is the founder, co-owner, and VP of Love Catering, Inc. in Los Angeles, a full-service catering company to to the stars…and their hanger’s-on. For the past seven years, he has been a stay-at-home Dad and short-order cook for his partner and their seven year-old triplets here in Topsfield, MA. Yes, triplets…