Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds from the cavity. Roast cut side down in the oven about an hour until it is fork tender. (Squash can be roasted upto 3 days ahead of time and kept in fridge).
Heat butter and olive oil in a dutch oven. Add the onion, carrots, celery and pears along with the thyme, paprika, salt and pepper. Sautè until translucent. Do not brown.
Remove the skin from the squash and add to the pan. Add the chicken stock and simmer about 20 minutes. Purè in a blender or with an immersion blender.
Add the cream and gently heat through. Do not boil after the cream has been added.
Just before serving add the lime juice, zest and maple syrup. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with croutons.
Variation: Replace lime juice and zest with garnish of candied walnuts. Add 24 whole walnuts and 2 Tbsps brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir to coat walnuts with melted brown sugar. Cook until nuts are a deep brown. Watch carefully so they don’t burn. Garnish each bowl of soup with 3 candied walnuts.