2 pounds butternut squash
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons water
½ cup yellow onion, diced
½ cup leek, cleaned and minced
1 stalk of celery, minced
1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped
Pinch of allspice
1 small apple, cored and diced
1 quart chicken stock
Bouquet of thyme, bay and parsley
Zest of one lemon
Salt to taste
6 tablespoons of Muhammara (recipe follows)
6 tablespoons whole milk, Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons ground pecans
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Cut the squashes in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds Place the squash halves into a roasting pan, flesh side up and rub with the butter and the sugar.
3. Pour water in pan, cover with foil and roast for 1 hour. Remove the foil and roast for 15 minutes more to lightly brown squash.
4. Remove the squash from the roasting pan and let cool.
5. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, leek and celery and sweat until translucent. Add the apple, sage, allspice, chicken stock and bouquet. Cook until apple is tender, about 15 minutes.
6. Scoop the cooked squash, discarding the shells. Place cooked flesh in soup base. Remove bouquet. Season, puree in a blender on medium to high (you can do this in batches if necessary).
7. Ladle into six soups and top each bowl with one tablespoons of muhammra, a tablespoon of yogurt, a teaspoon of ground pecans.
Makes about 1 cup
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, peeled and seeded
1/4 cup fine toasted breadcrumbs
1/4 c. toasted walnuts
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds (or cumin)
1/4 teaspoon hot chile flake
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon warm water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Place the red peppers, the breadcrumbs, walnuts, garlic, lime juice, nigella seeds and chile flake in a blender and puree. Slowly add the olive oil to emulsify. Thin with water if necessary. Season with salt, scrape into a clean small bowl and set aside.