1 Red Kuri Squash (about 2 pounds)
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
seas salt freshly ground pepper
1 large fennel bulb, herby tops removed
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2-3 bunching onions, diced (green tops removed)
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 tsp chili flakes
3/4 cup sherry
10 cups chicken or veggie stock
1/4 cup creme fraiche
1 tbsp maple syrup
6-8 sage leaves
Preheat the oven to 400F.  Remove the peel and cut the squash in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and discard. Slice the squash into 1/2″ thick wedges, place on a baking sheet. Season the squash with a generous pinch of sea salt, a crank of fresh ground pepper, and a splash of extra-virgin olive oil (about 2 tablespoons). Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes.  Slice the fennel into 1/2 inch thick wedges. Pound the fennel seeds in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. On a baking sheet, combine the sliced fennel, fennel seeds, and minced garlic and season with a pinch of sea salt and 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. When the squash and fennel are done roasting set a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the butter, onion, and a pinch of salt and saute until the onions are soft and begin to color. Add the thyme, chili flakes, roasted squash, and roasted fennel and stir to combine. Add the sherry and allow it to reduce for a minute or two and then add the stock. Bring to a boil, turn the heat to medium, and simmer for 20 minutes.  Use an immersion blender to puree the soup, or alternatively puree the soup in batches in a counter-top blender (being careful not to overload the blender with hot liquid). Blend until the soup is completely smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings. Combine the creme fraiche and maple syrup and place in the refrigerator. Set a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and bring up to heat. Add the sage leaves and fry until they begin to crisp. Remove the sage leaves from the pan and transfer to a paper towel.  Pour the soup into bowls and garnish with a drizzle of creme fraiche & maple and top with a fried sage leaf.
adapted recipe from feelgoodeats.com