This is a getting ready for cold weather soup. There is a wonderful selection of squash available at the market right now. So take advantage! Pair the soup with a hearty green salad.
2 tablespoons pine nuts 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil ½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 yellow onion*, chopped coarsely 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 to 2 carrots, coarsely chopped Salt
1 cup coarsely chopped fennel or celery freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup dry white wine ½ cup coconut milk
4 cups coarsely chopped peeled winter Maple syrup
squash, such as butternut*, acorn*, 4 to 5 dried figs, cut into thin rounds
hubbard*, turban*, or pumpkin*
4 to 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Put the pine nuts in a small, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Cook, shaking the skillet often, for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned and toasted.
In an 8-quart soup pot, over medium heat, warm the olive oil and add the onion, carrots, and fennel. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and caramel in color. Add the wine and squash and cover with the broth. Simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, or until the squash is very soft.
Purée the soup in a pot with a handheld immersion blender, or puree in a food processor (working in batches) and return it to the pot. Add the thyme, coriander, and cinnamon, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the coconut milk, taste for sweetness and add maple syrup to taste. Heat the soup and thin with extra broth if necessary.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with the dried figs and pine nuts. Serves 6.
*Available at the marketFrom Simply Organic, by Jesse Ziff Cool