Last fall, my friend Dana gave me a cheese wheel pumpkin she had grown. After roasting and eating it, the seeds landed in the compost. Then this spring, I decided to grow the winter squash in the compost pile. Long story short--as it goes in the summer heat, genetics get curious, frisky, and determined. The butternuts cross pollinated with the volunteer cheese wheels and a hybrid was born. Unsure of the outcome until we hardened them off and sampled, the verdict is in: we are proud parents.
I call this recipe pumpkin soup, but really it's hybrid cheese-wheel-pumpkin-butternut-squash-love-child soup.
As many of us have discovered, pollination and free-will should sometimes be encouraged.
Roasted Pumpkin Soup:
*1 large heirloom pumpkin or sweet hard squash of choice
*1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
*4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
*2 1/2 cups chicken broth
Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Slice pumpkin lengthwise in half. Scoop out flesh and seeds (reserve seeds for roasting). Slice each half lengthwise again. Place pumpkin quarters flesh side up on baking sheet with onion. Drizzle everything with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
Roast until pumpkin flesh is tender in thickest portion when pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes. remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Scoop flesh from rind and transfer to a blender or food processor. You should have about 6 cups roasted pumpkin. Add roasted onion and butter to food processor with pumpkin and blend until smooth.
Place puree in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add chicken broth and whisk until smooth. Season to taste.
Portion into bowls and garnish with plain yogurt and chives.