It's Halloween so I thought it would be appropriate to put together a dish highlighting the colors we associate with that holiday. Not to mention that it's a great combo of flavors and perfect for the fall. You can use any winter squash or pumpkin you like-roast it to bring out its sweet flavor and then puree with apple, ginger, ancho chile powder, and cayenne. The black beans are cooked with a sofrito of poblano pepper, onion, and garlic until meltingly tender and then spooned into the silky soup.
1 kabocha squash or other winter squash or pumpkin (3 pounds)
1 large apple, quartered and cored
3 garlic cloves, skin on
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 poblano pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves minced
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds), toasted
1. Preheat the oven to 400. Cut the squash in half, scoop out and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into large chunks. Place in a roasting pan with the apple, whole garlic cloves, and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Cover with foil and bake until the squash is fork tender, 35 to 45 minutes. When cool enough to handle, scoop the squash from its skin and transfer to a food processor. Remove the skin from the roasted garlic and add it, along with the apple (skin on) to the processor. Add 3 1/2 cups of water, the cream, the ancho, ginger, and cayenne; puree. Season with salt and add more water if a thinner consistency is desired.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil over medium. Add the onion, poblano, and the minced garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is tender, about 7 minutes. Add the beans and 1/2 cup water, season with salt and cook until the flavors are well blended, about 10 minutes.
3. Ladle the soup into serving bowls and divide the bean mixture among them. Top with feta cheese and pepitas and serve.