- One 2-pound butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 1 banana, scooped into balls with a melon baller or sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup crème fraîche
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
- 8 small watercress sprigs
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Butter a medium baking dish. Season the squash with salt and set it cut side down in the baking dish. Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, until the squash is very tender. Let cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, spread the pecans in a pie plate and toast for about 7 minutes, or until fragrant. Let cool, then coarsely chop and transfer to a medium bowl. Add the banana and maple syrup and stir to coat.
- Peel the squash. In a blender, puree the squash, water, crème fraîche and cinna- mon until very smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan and warm over low heat. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with the banana-nut topping and watercress and serve hot or at room temperature.
To match the sweet soup, pour an off-dry Riesling. Try one from Washington State.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.