Roasted Potimarron Soup
3 to 3 1/2 pounds of potimarron squash (red kuri squash)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 sage sprigs
1 cup thinly sliced leeks, white and light green parts only
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
6 cups vegetable stock
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup crème fraîche
freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Cut the squash in half and scoop out and discard the seeds. Brush each half inside with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea slat and pepper and tuck in a sprig of sage into each. Place cut side down on the baking sheet and roast for about 1 hour, or until completely tender.
Remove the squash from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle, then scoop out and reserve the flesh. (discard the sage)
Put a drizzle of olive oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat, add the leeks, carrots, shallots, and onions, and cook, stirring often, for about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and cook gently for 3 minutes, reducing the heat as necessary to keep the garlic and the squash from coloring. Add the vegetable stock and bouquet garni, bring to a simmer, and cook for 10 to 14 minutes. Add the roasted squash and simmer gently for about 30 minutes for the flavors to blend. Remove from the heat and discard the bouquet garni.
Transfer the soup to a blender, in batches, and purée. Be careful as the hot soup may splash out of the top of the blender. Strain the soup through a fine strainer into a bowl, tapping the side of the strainer so the soup passes through. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning. Let the soup cool, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
To serve, ladle the soup into serving bowls. Top each with a dollop of crème fraîche. Grind some black pepper over the top and garnish with minced chives or sage leaves and a drizzle of brown butter.