Pear and Port Soup

This Pear and Port Soup is elegant enough for entertaining and hearty enough for a winter lunch or supper.

I have been on a real ‘pear soup’ kick ever since my friend made me this Roasted Parsnip and Pear Soup.

Roasted Parsnip and Pear Soup

Pears sweeten up and complement other root vegetables.  This soup also contains leeks and potatoes.

The pièce de resistance though is the crumble of blue cheese for garnish.  It melts into the soup and the combination of pear and blue cheese is a classic one.  I used Danish Blue Cheese which is fairly strong. Gorgonzola or Cambozola are milder blue cheeses and would also work well

If you are not a fan of blue cheese then I would say try it with the Stilton with apricot pieces.  That is kind of a sweet cheese that would also complement this dish really well.

And this is not time to eschew the carbs my friends…. a crusty chunk of baguette goes perfectly  with this.

This recipe makes a lot!  About 12 cups so if you are not serving a crowd you may want to cut it in half.

Let’s talk about the white port.  White port is made from white wine grapes in the Douro Valley of Portugal.  It isn’t as common as Ruby or Tawny port but it is readily available.

You drink white port slightly chilled in either a traditional port glass or a white wine glass. It has a hint of honey, oak, nuts. You can add a twist of lemon or make a spritzer with 50/50 port and tonic or soda water.  Garnish with lemon or lime.

If you don’t want to buy port just for this recipe you could substitute a fairly sweet white wine like a late harvest riesling or white zinfandel.  (I have not tried this so if you do let me know how it turns out.)  If you want to avoid alcohol go for white grape juice.

Wine Recommendation

Because this soup is fairly sweet with the pears and the port you don’t want to serve a bone dry wine or it will seem very harsh.  I would suggest an off dry sparkling – Prosecco would be good. If you are serving this as an appetizer course the off-dry sparkling is perfect before you move to weightier wines with your main course.

If you are serving it as main course then I would look to an off dry riesling or even a Gewurztraminer.

Note:  if you substituted a white wine for the port in making the soup, plan to serve that same wine with the soup course.

Pear and Port Soup

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Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Servings: 12 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsps butter
  • 3 pears Bosc or Bartlett work well, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1/2 cup white Port sub riesling or white grape juice if desired
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 medium yellow onion rough chopped
  • 3 leeks white parts only, sliced
  • 1/4 cup celery rough chopped
  • 2 cups Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and coarsely diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 oz blue cheese crumbly (sub Stilton with Apricot)

Instructions

  • Melt butter in a skillet. Add pears and cook over medium heat about 10 minutes. Add the port and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Add stock to a large dutch oven. Add the salt, onion, leeks, celery and potatoes. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer about 15 minutes til vegetables are tender.
  • Add the pears and port and cook another 5 minutes.
  • Cool slightly and purée in batches until smooth. Return to the pot. Check seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  • Serve topped with cheese.

Notes

Nutrition

Calories: 160kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 670mg | Potassium: 339mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g

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