Smoky Butternut Squash Soup
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small leek, use white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced and rinsed well
1 Granny Smith (green) apple, cored, peeled, and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 pounds Butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound red yam, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
6 cups chicken/vegetable stock
1 medium chipotle chili (canned in adobo sauce), can substitute with 1 tablespoon of smoke paprika for no heat version of this recipe
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup crème fraîche
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute garlic and leek until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add apple, ginger and cook for 3 minutes. Add butternut squash, yam and stock; simmer until squash and yam are tender, about 15 minutes. Add chipotle or paprika.
Working in batches, transfer mixture to a blender, and puree until smooth; transfer pureed soup to a large bowl or another pot. For safety, remove cap from the blender lid and cover with a dish towel to prevent spattering. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dollop a teaspoon of crème fraîche and a teaspoon of toasted pine nuts right before serving.