Serves 2-4. Can be made vegan by substituting olive or coconut oil for butter and omitting the cream.
6-8 lbs. squash: 2 butternut or 2 pie pumpkins
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. finely minced sage leaf
1 tsp. pie spice, or any combination of cinnamon, ginger, clove and/or allspice
2 medium white onions, diced medium
4 carrots, diced medium
1 leek, white only, diced medium
2 ribs celery, diced medium
1/4 tsp. orange zest
1 Tbsp. mild chili sauce
2 qts. commercial or homemade vegetable stock
Optional: 1 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 375˚.
Wash squash, cut in half and with a large spoon, scoop out seeds and membrane. Reserve seeds (recipe »»).
Invert the squash onto a lined rimmed baking sheet. Pour enough water into the pan to come 1/2″ up the side of the squash. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, until flesh gives to the touch. Let cool, peel away skins and set aside.
Meanwhile, melt butter and oil in 6-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add sage, spices and vegetables and cook 10-12 minutes, until onions are soft—do not let them brown. If they do begin to brown, remove pan from burner, reduce heat and return to the lowered burner after 15 seconds.
Once onions are soft, add orange zest, chili sauce, vegetable stock and squash. Stir to combine, increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes.
With an immersion blender, purée soup until smooth. (If using a stand blender, be cautious when puréeing hot soup. Start by pulsing to check the pressure.)
Drizzle in cream, if using, for a richer, smoother flavor.