3 lbs winter squash
(acorn, butternut, pumpkin, etc.)
Light olive oil
1 each large yellow onion
5 each garlic cloves
1 each small chipotle in adobo
4 each thyme sprigs
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup dry sherry
1 1/2 qt light chicken stock (or water)
Kosher salt
to taste
ground black pepper
to taste
1 tbsp Honey
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ancho chile powder
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp light olive oil
1/4 cup creme fraiche
For the Soup
Peel and large dice the squash, then coat generously with oil and roast in a 400F oven until browned and completely cooked through. Alternatively, cut the whole squashes in half, rub with oil, then roast until softened and scoop out the flesh.
In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic in the butter for about 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the cooked squash and stir in the chipotle and remaining spices, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a couple minutes stirring constantly - take care not to burn the spices. Add the sherry and cook until mostly absorbed. Add the stock and honey and increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a strong simmer, then reduce to very low. Cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes, or until the flavors marry well - scrape with a wooden spoon often to keep from scorching. Remove the thyme sprigs, then use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Add more spices, or chipotles if desired. The soup should be savory with a hint of sweetness. If the consistency is too thick, add more stock. If too thin, simmer with the lid off for a few minutes.
For the Garnishes
Toss the pumpkin seeds in the oil with the ancho, cumin, and salt. Spread on a parchment-lined sheet tray and toast in a 350F oven until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.
To Serve
Serve the soup hot in demitasse cups. Top with a swirl of crème fraiche and a pinch of pepitas.