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Kabocha Squash and Chestnut Soup with Chipotle Crème Fraîche
By Chef Andrew Faulkner

Ingredients 

Chipotle Crème Fraîche 

1 cup Ruby Port 
1/2 cup Dry Red Wine 
1 teaspoon Dried Chipotle Chiles crushed or 1 teaspoon Chipotle Chile canned 
2 tablespoons Tomato Paste 
8 ounces Crème Fraîche or 1 cup Sour Cream 

Soup 

Vegetable Oil 2 whole 
Kabocha Squash (2 1/2 pounds) cut horizontally in half seeded 
8 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth 
7 1/2 ounces Italian Chestnuts roasted and peeled 
2 tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup 

Directions 

Chipotle Crème Fraîche 

Combine Port, wine, chiles, and tomato paste in heavy small saucepan. 

Simmer over medium heat until reduced to thick paste, stirring often, about 12 minutes. 

Transfer to small bowl; cool. Fold in crème fraîche. 

Cover and chill at least 1 hour and up to 1 week. 

Soup 

Preheat oven to 350°F. 

Brush baking sheet with oil. Place squash halves, cut side down, on prepared sheet. 

Bake squash until very tender, about 1 hour. 

Scoop squash from skins. 

Measure 6 cups squash and transfer to large pot (reserve any remaining squash for another use). 

Add broth and chestnuts to pot. 

Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low. 

Simmer soup uncovered until chestnuts are very tender, about 30 minutes. 

Mix maple syrup into soup. Puree soup in batches in blender until very smooth; return to same pot. 

Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Refrigerate until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated.) 

Rewarm soup. Ladle into bowls. Top each serving with chipotle crème fraîche.