This is one of the more interesting flavor combinations I’ve ever tried. Caramelized pears and blue cheese makes perfect logical sense to me, but as a cream based soup?? (It works way better than you’d think.)
I’m not quite sure if I’m feeling it at the moment, but honestly, worst comes to worst I try this again in a while. (Plus, we’re still in pear season at the farmer’s market for a good long while, this will probably be even better come fall.)
Parts of the original recipe are a bit vague/contradicting, so I’ve clarified where I can and honestly just guessed where I can’t. Kevin also recommends crispy prosciutto as a garnish for this, and I’d agree with that – however, this was made for vegetarians on this initial round, so I’ll try that in the future.
- 2 T butter
- 2 T dark brown sugar
- 6 pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1 inch pieces (I used most of a small bag of Asian pears from the farmer’s market)
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 large cloves of garlic, chopped
- .5 t thyme (ideally fresh and chopped, but ground works just fine if you don’t have any)
- 3 c vegetable stock
- .5 lbs potato, peeled and diced (I used some small red potatoes)
- 4 oz crumbled blue cheese (I used a gorgonzola per recipe recommendations)
- .5 c milk (half and half and heavy whipping cream are also options)
- sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
- (optional: diced crispy proscuitto or bacon or pancetta if making it not vegetarian!)
Melt your butter over medium high heat in a large pot. As soon as it’s melted, add the brown sugar, and cook until the butter and sugar starts to bubble (see pic 1). Add in your pear pieces, and cook until lightly browned and tender (this took about 5 to 7 minutes, should look like pic 2).
Then, add your onion, and cook until tender, about another three to five minutes. Add in the thyme and garlic and cook until fragrant (about a minute) , then add in the broth, milk, and potato. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, until the potato is tender (about ten to fifteen minutes, I went for ten because one of the people I was cooking for had to leave soon).
If you have a stick blender, take it and puree the soup until you’ve got a nice silky soup. If you don’t, put it in the blender in batches, and puree until smooth. Turn off your heat, return the soup to the pot, and then take your blue cheese crumbles and stir them in in small batches until melted, tasting after each batch to make sure that the cheese doesn’t overwhelm the sweetness of the caramelized pears too much. Once you’ve got it at the perfect balance for your tastes, add in the sea salt and pepper, give it a last stir, and serve! (The recipe mentions stirring in the milk again here, I chose not to, and it still came out well.) (If you would want to add in the pancetta/prosciutto/bacon, this is where you’d do it.)