2 sweet dumpling squash
3 apples, cored and quartered
1-2 leeks, cut in half, rinsed and cut into slices
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1¼ cups cider
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
½ teaspoon ground coriander
freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup heavy cream or coconut milk
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Cut the squash in half down its length and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Place the halves on the baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes, or until very tender when pricked with a fork or knife. When it’s done, the skin will be slightly wrinkled and the juices will have caramelized. Leave the squash on the pan until it has cooled and is easy to handle.
3. Meanwhile, combine the apples and leeks in a roasting pan. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme, pour in ¾ cup cider, and dot with butter. Cover the pan with foil, and roast for 1 hour. Take off the cover and roast for another 30-45 minutes, the leeks should be very tender and most of the juices should be absorbed. Let it cool a few minutes, then puree in batches in a food processor until smooth. Pour into a stockpot.
4. Cut and peel off the squash and puree the flesh in batches in the food processor until very smooth. Scrape into the stockpot. Whisk in the stock and the remaining cup of cider, the coriander, and fresh grated nutmeg to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and taste for salt and pepper (a good hit of pepper is nice as a counterpoint to the sweetness of the squash).
5. Pour in the cream or coconut milk, bring back to a simmer, and cook for about 1 more minute. It’s ready to serve. Garnish with some croutons if you are in the mood!