Chipotle Butternut Squash Soup
Jalapenos are the most popular chile peppers in the US. This is probably due to the availability and versatility of the chile. Jalapenos have a balanced combination of flavor and heat.
The demand for these have caused breeders to develop a broad range of varieties. You can now get jalapenos with various heat level and sizes. These can be used in salsas, stuffed, or eaten straight with cheeseburgers (my personal favorite).
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small leek, use white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced and rinsed well
2 carrots, diced
1 onion, finely diced
1 jalapeño, finely diced
1 Granny Smith (green) apple, cored, peeled, and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 pounds Butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound red yam, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
6 cups chicken/vegetable stock
1 medium chipotle chile, softened in hot water (can substitute with 1 tablespoon of chipotle powder made by grinding dried chile in coffee grinder till a fine powder)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup pepitas
In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute garlic, leek, carrots and onion until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add apple, ginger and cook for 3 minutes.
Add butternut squash, yam and stock simmer until squash and yam are tender, about 15 minutes. Add chipotle or chipotle spice.
Puree using an immersion blender (or a standard blender, in batches).
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dollop teaspoon of pepitas right before serving.