Winter Squash, Leek and Apple Soup
- 1 large winter squash (4½ lb.), halved, seeds removed
- 1 tart apple, peeled, cored, and quartered
- 1 T. olive oil
- 2 medium leeks, white parts only, sliced (2 cups)
- ½ t. salt
- 2 pinches ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
- ½ cup white wine
- 6 cups vegetable stock or low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- ⅓ cup crème fraîche
- 2 Tbs. apple cider or apple juice
Preheat oven to 400°F. Place squash (cut-side down) and apple quarters in large baking dish. Add 1 cup water, cover, and roast 35 to 40 minutes, or until squash is tender. Cool until squash is easy to handle. Scoop squash flesh from skin; you should have 6 cups.
Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1 pinch of pepper; cook 3 minutes, or until leeks begin to soften. Stir in garlic, then wine; cook 3 minutes, or until pot is nearly dry. Add squash, apple, stock, remaining 1/4 tsp. salt, remaining pinch of pepper, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes. Remove bay leaf, and purée with immersion blender until smooth and creamy. Cook over low heat 15 minutes.
To make Cider Crème Fraîche: whisk together ingredients in small bowl. To serve, ladle hot Soup into bowls, and swirl with Cider Crème Fraîche.