Serves: Serves 6 to 8
- 1 butternut squash, 2½ to 3 pounds
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, minced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder or other chile powder
- 5 cups chicken broth (if canned, use equal parts broth and water), plus more if needed
- Kosher or sea salt
- 2 teaspoons finely minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, or more to taste
- Freshly grated Cotija cheese, for garnish
- Hulled, roasted, and salted pumpkin seeds, for garnish
- Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375°F. With a cleaver or heavy chef's knife, cut off the stem end of the squash, then cut the squash into 8 roughly equal pieces. Discard the stringy matter and seeds in the seed cavity. Using 1 tablespoon of the oil, grease a baking dish just large enough to hold the squash in a single layer. Put the squash in the baking dish, cut side down. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until tender when pierced, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool completely, then scrape the flesh away from the skin with a spoon.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over moderately low heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and chile powder and sauté for 1 minute to release the garlic fragrance.
Add the squash flesh and the broth to the pot. Bring to a simmer, stirring. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
Let the soup cool slightly, then puree in a blender or food processor, in batches if necessary. Return to a clean pot. If the soup is too thick for your taste, thin with additional broth. Season with the salt and chile.
Reheat the soup to serve. Divide among warmed soup bowls, and garnish each portion with the cheese, pumpkin seeds, and cilantro. Serve immediately.