You can make this winter soup with a variety of winter vegetables. Here Garnet yam and Kuri squash impart their deep orange color; their smooth flavor balances the nip of apple and parsnip. Straining the purée through a sieve isn’t necessary but gives the soup a silky texture and luxurious finish. For another occasion you might garnish the soup with a dollop of crabmeat, sautéed minced pancetta or swirl of puréed chipolte chile.

Makes 8 servings (10 or 11 cups).

2 or 3 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
1 large or 2 small leeks (white part only), trimmed, split, rinsed
and chopped (2 cups)
1 large tart apple, peeled, quartered, cored and chopped
1 large parsnip, chopped (1 cup)
1 Delicata squash, peeled, seeds removed, flesh coarsely chopped
(1 or 2 cups)
1 Garnet yam, peeled and chopped (1 or 2 cups)
½ Kuri squash, peeled, seeds removed, flesh coarsely chopped
(about 3 cups)
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and white pepper to taste
Green herbs such as snipped fresh chives or micro sprouts, for garnish

In a large saucepan over low flame, heat the butter or oil. Add the leek and stir until it is soft. Add the apple pieces and turn to coat them in the juices, then add the other vegetables. Simmer without browning until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the stock; cover the pot and simmer until the vegetables are cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Let the soup cool.

Fit a large sieve over a big bowl and pour the contents of the pot into the sieve, saving the liquid. In a food processor, purée the solids in batches with some of the stock. Push the purée through the sieve into a clean pot, pressing with the back of a spoon to remove any fibers. Stir in the reserved stock and taste for balance. Sharpen with lemon juice
and season with salt and pepper. This soup can be made ahead, covered and chilled. Serve the soup hot with a sprinkling of fresh herbs or micro sprouts.

Recipe by Elizabeth Gawthrop Riely