Spiced Squash, Fennel and Pear Soup

Squash does not make it to our table very often, but this Spiced Squash, Fennel and Pear Soup was worth the wait! A glorious combination of autumnal ingredients made for a delightful first course.
Spiced Squash, Fennel and Pear Soup

Spiced Squash, Fennel and Pear Soup

Uh, oh.  The forbidden “F” word is in the title of this recipe.  Years ago, I made a fabulous pork chop dish with sauteed onions, artichoke hearts and fennel.  You’d think I had served the hubby brains or entrails.  Fennel went to the top of his list of horrible foods. Of course, I thought it was one of the most marvelous pork dishes I had made in years.  So when I saw the title of this soup, I didn’t dare mention what else was in it besides squash.  I’m still a bit amazed that Bill has even eaten and enjoyed a squash soup and was willing to sample this one.

Spiced Squash, Fennel and Pear Soup

One Thumbs Up, One Thumbs Down

First, I roasted two acorn squash in a 425º oven for about 45 minutes.  Chunks of the flesh were added to sauteed onions, fennel, celery and garlic. Ginger, cumin, nutmeg and a strip of orange zest gave a lovely zing of flavor.  Chicken broth and pears were also added to the pot as it simmered till all the flavors were incorporated. The soup was then pureed before serving and garnished with creme fraiche (I had some mascarpone and used that instead) and pepitas.  I thought it was wonderful. Bill’s review was a bland, “OK.”  I guess it could have been a whole lot worse, and I still haven’t mentioned the secret forbidden ingredient.

The publishers of Around My French Table have asked us not to share this Spiced Squash, Fennel and Pear Soup recipe, but I encourage you purchase this fabulous cookbook.

Linked to the Squash Blog Hop~


  1. Wow what an interesting soup. Sounds very exotic and I love your photos.

  2. depending on how you cook fennel, the flavor changes to something unlike black licorice… it’s great that he liked it though! Glad you liked it also! 🙂

  3. What a lovely fall soup – I love pears, always adds a great brightness.

  4. See, you make it look so easy & delicious at the same time.
    I made a tasty potato-leek soup the other day, & thought I could do w/out the addition of half & half. I couldn’t. But it made for a nice mashed potato :/

  5. Sounds like a delicious soup! I was actually intrigued by the fennel in the soup 😉 I love them roasted.

  6. I applaud the sneaky ingredient maneuver! I do that all the time, sometimes even as a test. A former colleague hated my “Espresso Brownies,” because he hates espresso. So I made the same recipe, but called them Fudgy Brownies. He loved them. The things we do!

  7. sometimes you just have to “sneak” things in there 🙂 looks like a great soup!

  8. My fennel bulb wasn’t that large, so the flavor didn’t overwhelm at all in this soup. I’m sorry Bill just thought it was okay, but at least he did try it and he doesn’t need to know all the ingredients that went into it, anyway, right? 🙂 Your soup looks beautiful. I just loved the taste of this one!

  9. Feeling Food says:

    Looks delicious and very seasonal too! YUM:)

  10. Thats quite a bit of ingredients that got into the soup Lizzy but worth as I like the outcome though fennel is so difficult to come by here, in fact I have seen and used it into any of my recipes.

  11. Pegasuslegend says:

    Fabulous photos is this what you went to college for cooking and photography? Your blog is perfection everytime and keeps getting better!

  12. Three-Cookies says:

    This sounds unique, I’ve never tasted such a soup. And I am recovering from the shock of seeing yet another non-dessert recipe:)

  13. The things we do. I am a chronic ingredient “hider” – sometimes you just have to do that…
    I love the picture of the squash with the burlap 🙂

  14. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite says:

    *I* loved this too 🙂 Happy Friday LIz!

  15. WOW! That is a lovely recipe and your photos are exquisite to showcase it.

  16. I myself don’t like fruit in savory dishes, but I’d gladly steal those three green pears from your table and eat them like that, they look lovely.

  17. This pears soup look delicious Lizzy! xxgloria

  18. Kitchen Belleicious says:

    definitely french and definitely delicious! Love the flavor combo and the texture of the soup looks perfect

  19. Being married to a picky eater, I always hide ingredients. At least your Bill tried it…mine after trying a teaspoon, declared he couldn’t eat it. Oh well more for me! Happy Weekend, Lizzy!

  20. once in a blue moon says:

    Sounds fabulous… Too bad they said not to share the recipe, good thing I already own it 🙂

  21. What he doesn’t know wouldn’t hurt him for sure! Glad you like the soup. I love mine too.

  22. Awesome soup! He’s missing out with the fennel denial :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  23. great photos, it looks good

  24. WOW..This looks awesome..Yummy

    Do visit my blog too

  25. One of the first recipes I made after getting the book…I usually use butternut squash…
    We love it!

  26. This soup does look creamy and delicious. Ha-it sounds like your husband does have a pretty picky palate. Sometimes it is best to follow a rule of don’t tell. Glad you enjoyed this choice for French Fridays. Have a great weekend!

  27. Your photos are really gorgeous. I am planning to adore this one but it fell short. Nana thought it was bland as well but we always enjoy trying one of Dorie’s recipes and look forward to making more soups this winter. Happy FF !

  28. Sue/the view from great island says:

    This is so funny. I don’t know why certain foods have such a big learning curve. I used to hate fennel and now I can’t get enough of it. Great soup.

  29. Cheap Ethnic Eatz says:

    This is such a perfect fall soup. And I love fennel, braised some in milk once in the oven…not to be shared at home obviously. You hubby has no idea what he is missing 😉

  30. Love fennel! And do have ingredients that sometimes get sneaked in the back door. Shhh. This just proclaims fall, doesn’t it? All items that are fresh at the grocer. Perfect choice.

  31. I like that you called it the “F” word. I like how your soup looks chunky!

  32. I tried hiding the pears but got caught. However, my husband liked it anyway. I love the way the pear half is floating in the soup. It looks lovely.

  33. Cassie//Bake Your Day says:

    This is a beautiful combination, it sounds so comforting!

  34. Viviane Bauquet Farre says:

    Lizzy, sometimes a little clandestine fennel can go a long way in a dish. Next time you can just call it anise!

  35. The Mom Chef says:

    This had me snickering. I’m a huge fennel fan, although I don’t like licorice. The soup does look fantastic and I’d probably like all three if they were roasted, but I’ve never been a squash soup fan.

    So, you’re not worried he’ll read your blog, huh. 🙂

  36. I love fennel! It’s one of those ingredients that I always want to use, but then I’m still a little afraid too try… I love just roasted fennel and fennel in salad. I think it has such a great taste!

  37. (Lady Gourmet) Catherine says:

    Dear Lizzy, I grew up eating fennel and love it. I guess it might be an acquired taste. I know I would enjoy this soup, sounds delicious and healthy. Blessings, Catherine xo

  38. Mari @ Mari's Cakes says:

    Beautiful soup! Very unique combination too!

    Have a great weekend 🙂

  39. This must have smelled wonderful while it was cooking. Love all the aromatics!

  40. Lizzy, this looks stunning. You always amaze me!

  41. What a lovely end of fall soup! And I likey the new site Lizzy! 😀

  42. Asian-spice mix says:

    Great soup recipe,i use butternut squash with pears,need to try this version,,,looks yummy !!

  43. Looks gorgeous, Lizzy. I’ll have to give it a try. I’ll have to sneak fennel in and pretend not to notice it myself – not a huge fan but it’s about time I learnt to like it, and as I’ve a whole heap of it growing at the moment, now’s probably a good time.

  44. The soup sounds and looks delightful. Great use of seasonal ingredients.

  45. The forbidden “F” word…how funny!
    I love the forbidden fennel, any way, any shape. Love the added licorice flavor combined with the squash, and pears in a creamy comforting soup!
    Great job, Lizzy…you certainly take each challenge with a good sense of humor, and delve right into it, even if your family would not like it. Next time, just freeze it and send it over to me. (actually, not such a bad idea!)

  46. I have this book, though I have not cooked anything from it! The publishers should thank you since now I want to make this soup.

    Welcome to the blog hop! ~ Sincerely, Annapet

  47. This soup sounds so delightful! I really need to go through my Dorie cookbook more often. Every week I look at your amazing dishes and think, why haven’t I made that yet?!

  48. This soup looks good , love the photographs , never tasted fennel so I don’t know how it tastes .

  49. I have to sneak things into dinners sometimes too. Its for their own good, LOL! I think this soup looks so delicious! Love the pear!

  50. –Gorgeous presentation w/ the sliced pear.

    Would you come cook for ME?! X

  51. Well it looks absolutely stunning! I’m not a huge fan of fennel, but I will eat it and like you said – with the right dish – it’s amazing! I suspect this is the right dish! As always, the recipe and photos are stunning, Lizzy!

  52. I never had a fennel before but with squash & pear the soup looks and sound refeshingly healthy liz! 😉

  53. Fennel and pear? Fennel and squash maybe but I wouldn’t think that the pear would work…


  54. WOW! That is a lovely recipe and your photos are stunning.

  55. I’m not afraid of the “F”….just as long as I’m cooking with it and not my wife. 😉

    Have a great Sunday!

  56. That’s a phenomenal soup! I love all the ingredients in it (including fennel ;-)) and I am sure they make a great combo together!

  57. The photos are lovely – so autumnal!!

  58. Liz…I am always looking for new and interesting soup recipes! I laughed at the idea that your hubby would put fennel in the same category as brains and entrails! I love the freshness fennel gives to dishes. And I love the cast of characters in this soup! It looks simply luscious!

  59. Lizzy- Your soup sounds so good with the acorn squash and pear combo. Not too sure about the “F” word though. If I made it with the fennel, I might be the only one eating it. More for me.

  60. Torviewtoronto says:

    delicious flavours looks wonderful

  61. Let’s hope he doesn’t read your blog to find out! Seriously, I think this soup looks amazing.

  62. How funny, I love fennel. I think it’s a love it or leave it type of ingredient. Next year you better come, it would be so much fun. Hope you had a great weekend.
    Congrats on being nominated, I wasn’t sure if I told you.

  63. first time here….wow…thats a wonderful soup u hav prepared…..if u like indian food i have a collection of fish recipes only in my space…do visit sometimes 🙂

  64. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    Haha! I didn’t see the title first, so I wonder what “F” word you were talking about and scrolled up and see. Fennel! Well my kids are probably not a big fan but if it’s little they won’t notice. This soup looks delicious – the pear and squash combination is interesting and would love to taste this.

  65. Grubarazzi says:

    That is a really wonderful combination. The sweet, the licorice and the savory all combined. I can just imagine how good this is.

  66. Inside a British Mum's Kitchen says:

    What a wonderful soup – love your flavors – unusual and delicious – I think I could almost live on a soup like this 🙂
    Mary x

  67. What a lovely scrumptious combination of flavors. Beautiful soup!

  68. The ingredients sound delicious! Great to know that the forbidden ingredient was acceptable to Bill too!

  69. I love fennel. Its a new love. I have never really liked anything with an anise flavor but that has sure changed! I love the sound of this soup, so delicious.

  70. squash, fennel, pear sound like fabulous pairings! 😀 thanks for joining our #lovebloghop. sending some #squashlove to you!

  71. I lovel fennel and I imagine it would pair really well with squash and pear. Are you photographing it on an old door? How clever!

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