Chipotle-Squash Soup with Fresh Rosemary and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

chipotle stew.jpg

Chipotle chiles give this soup a pleasant heat and smokiness without making it too spicy. I often dress it up with a dollop of Creme Fraiche or sour cream mixed with lime juice.

 Serves 8 to 10 (Makes about 2 1/2 quarts)

 1 small winter squash such as pumpkin, butternut, or acorn (2 to 2 1/2 pounds), halved and seeds removed
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 chipotle chiles in adobo, seeded and chopped
2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted and salted, for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Place the squash, cut side down, on a baking sheet with sides. Add 1 cup water and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the pan and roast the squash until it is soft to the touch, 40 to 45 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, melt the butter and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil together in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes, until the onion is very soft and light brown. Add the carrots and bell pepper and continue to cook and stir until the carrots are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes, until it is fragrant but not brown.

4. Add the broth, chipotle chiles, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and bring the soup to a low boil over medium-high heat. While the soup is coming to a boil, scoop out the squash flesh with a large spoon. Discard the skin and add the flesh to the soup. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes.

5. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the rosemary. Allow the soup to cool slightly before pureeing. Working in batches if necessary, pour the soup into the bowl of a food brocessor fitted with a metal blade and puree until it is smooth, or puree the soup directly in the pot using an immersion blender. Reheat if necessary and serve warm, garnished with toasted, salted pumpkin seeds.


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