Winter Squash Soup

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by Chef Kevin Crawley Coriander Bistro, Sharon

Serves 16 - 20

1 large Hubbard Squash or Ward's Farm Candy Roaster (approximately 5 lbs)

1/4 cup olive oil plus 2 T.

3 stalks celery, roughly chopped

2 carrots, medium diced

1 onion, medium diced

1 leek, white part only,roughly chopped

Salt and white pepper to taste

1 T. Garam Masala (available at specialty stores or online)

2 T. Mild Curry Powder

1 gallon vegetable stock or spring water

1 cup creme fraiche or sour cream

1 cup toasted walnuts

Preheat oven to 350.

Split squash and remove and discard seeds. Brush the squash with 2 T. olive oil inside and out. Season with salt and pepper. Place on sheet pan (flesh side down) and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until tender. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.Scrape flesh from squash and discard the skin.

Reserve for soup preparation.

In a large stockpot, heat the 1/4 cup olive oil over high heat until a haze forms. Add the celery, onions, carrot, leeks and Garam Masala. Saute over medium high heat until the onions are translucent.

Add the squash. Stir in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 20 -25 minutes.

Using a blender or food processor, puree the soup and taste. Adjust seasonings if neccessary.

In a separate bowl, mix the curry and creme fraiche together. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place 1 t. of the creme fraiche in the center of a soup bowl. Top with toasted wlanuts. Add chopped chives if desired.

Ladle hot soup over the crème fraiche and walnut garnish. Serve immediately.

This soup can be refrigerated for up to a week and also freezes well.