Fall, I embrace you! While we don't have the summer days at the beach anymore, we now have pumpkin picking and brisk morning runs. There is something about fall breezes that makes me excited! We can't wait for school to start (even though it always starts in the hot humid August days...but, isn't it much more fun keep pretending that it starts in the fall?), we can't wait for the harvest time of apples, pears, peaches, squash and the smells of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg that accompany these foods and, admit it--we can't wait for Christmas. All the good times are ahead of us in the autumn season, and I'm totally not thinking about that January/February/March stretch. Just put that right out of my mind.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place squash cut side down on oiled baking sheet. Bake until the squash can easily be pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. Let cool, then scoop the pulp from the squash skin and discard the skin.
- Melt butter in a soup pot over medium-low heat. Add leeks and ginger and cook, stirring, until tender but not browned, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Stir in 4 cups of stock and the squash pulp. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring and breaking up the squash with a spoon, for 20 minutes. Puree until smooth. Return soup to the pot.
- Stir in cream, and thin with stock, a little at a time, until you reach the desired consistency of soup. Heat soup through and ladle into warmed bowls. Garnish with herbs and/or croutons.