“Kuri squash has a unique, concentrated sweet flavor that’s beautiful in soup,” says Rick Bayless, chef at Frontera Grill in Chicago. (Butternut is a fine substitute.) He adds more layers of flavor with apple, cinnamon and raisiny ancho chile, and even blends in the squash seeds for nuttiness.
Slideshow: More Warming Soup Recipes
Recipe from Food & Wine Chefs' Easy Weeknight Dinners.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 pounds Red Kuri or 11/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (4 cups), seeds reserved
1 medium onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 ancho chile—stemmed, seeded and torn into 1-inch pieces
1 medium apple—peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
Toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish
How to Make It
In a large soup pot, melt the butter. Add the squash seeds and onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until the onion is golden brown and the seeds are starting to brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the chile and toast until fragrant and pliable, about 1 minute. Add the squash, apple, cinnamon and 4 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat, then simmer over low heat until the squash is very tender, about 25 minutes.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Season with salt, pepper and sugar, then serve, garnished with pumpkin seeds.
The soup can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
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