DENVER - Ingredients
2 small sugar pumpkins or other squash, halved, de-seeded, and oiled on their cut sides
2 T. olive oil
4 - 8 cloves garlic, whole
4 sprigs thyme
1 large leek, halved lengthwise, cut into 1/4-inch slices, and washed carefully
1 c. chenin blanc
6 c. stock
Salt and white pepper
1/2 c. crème fraîche, thinned with heavy cream and seasoned with salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350oF. Place squash, cut side down, on a sheet pan and tuck a garlic clove or two and a sprig of thyme under each half. Roast in the oven until soft, about one hour. Set aside to cool, reserving the roasted garlic cloves. When the squash are cool enough to handle scoop out the flesh and reserve.
Sauté the leeks in olive oil over medium heat until soft and sweet. (Cover while sautéing to retain moisture.) Add the squash flesh and roasted garlic cloves to the leeks and stir to combine. Add the chenin blanc and reduce by half. Add five cups of the stock and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for about 20 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Purée the soup in a food processor or blender until smooth. Strain if desired. Return the soup to the pot to gently re-warm. Adjust the thickness by adding more stock if necessary to achieve a creamy consistency. Season with salt and pepper; garnish with crème fraîche and chopped chives.