Full of flavor, this soup is the perfect addition to any fall menu.
3 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of clove
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cooked, mashed winter squash (or a 14-ounce can pumpkin)
1 1/2 cups cider, sweet or hard
2 cups water or chicken broth, plus additional for thinning
1/4 cup dry vermouth
1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt
1 teaspoon ground chile pasilla (available in specialty stores) or chili powder
tortilla chips to accompany
Melt butter in a small nonreactive kettle or large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is very soft and caramel colored, about 25 minutes. Stir in spices and garlic, cook 1 or 2 minutes more, then stir in squash, cider, water, and vermouth.
Cover the pan and cook 35 to 45 minutes or until flavors are well blended and onion is very soft. Puree the soup in a blender or processor and return to the pan. Reheat, adjust salt to taste, and stir in additional liquid if necessary. Divide the soup among heated bowls and top each with a dollop of sour cream. Sprinkle on the chile and serve at once.