Koginut squash, a newer varietal that’s a cross between a Kabocha and Butternut, has orange flesh that is extremely creamy and sweet. If you can find it, it’s a great variety for this vegan soup, which only has a handful of ingredients, allowing the Koginut’s flavor to shine. If it’s not available, substitute one of the other recommended types. The crunchy, sumac-spiced seeds are a delicious contrast to the soup, both in flavor and texture, but if you want to make the recipe even easier, skip the seeds and simply dust some sumac on top before serving.
Serves 4 as a first course or light supper
2 pounds cubed Koginut, Kabocha or Butternut squash, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 yellow onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups chicken stock
½ cup crème fraiche or sour cream
For the seeds:
1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon olive oil
¾ teaspoon Evermill sumac, plus more for sprinkling
Crème Fraiche, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the cubed squash and onion wedges on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Toss to coat, then spread into a single layer. Roast, stirring once or twice, until the squash and onions are soft (insert the tip of a paring knife into a cube of squash to check—there should be no resistance) and beginning to brown, 35 to 40 minutes.
While the squash roasts, make the seeds: In a small bowl combine the seeds, olive oil, sumac and a few generous pinches of salt and toss to coat. Transfer to a small rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring once, until golden brown and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool.
Transfer the squash and onions to a large saucepan, using a spatula to scrape up any browned bits that have accumulated on the baking sheet (add those to the saucepan as well). Add the chicken stock and turn the heat to medium-high. When the chicken stock reaches a strong simmer, remove the pot from the heat and, with an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth (if you do not have an immersion blender, you can blend the mixture in a blender in batches, taking care not to fill the blender more than halfway; return the blended soup to the saucepan). Season the soup to taste with additional salt and pepper and keep warm over low heat.
To serve, spoon some crème fraiche into a bowl and stir vigorously. Dip a spoon into the crème fraiche and hold it over the bowl. If the crème fraiche does not drip easily from the spoon, add cold water by the teaspoonful until it does. Ladle some of the soup into a warmed bowl. Drizzle the crème fraiche over the top of the soup and garnish with some of the sumac-spiced seeds and an additional light dusting of sumac.