"It smelled like autumn in a bowl," said Gavin Kaysen, the chef at Manhattan's Café Boulud, describing Tim Hollingsworth's fragrant, fabulous soup.
1 2-pound butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
1/2 cup pecans
1 banana, scooped into balls with a melon baller or sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 cup water
1/2 cup crčme fraîche
pinch of ground cinnamon
8 watercress sprigs
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 375°. Butter a medium baking dish. Season the squash with salt and set it cut side down in the baking dish. Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, until the squash is very tender. Let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, spread the pecans in a pie plate and toast for about 7 minutes, or until fragrant. Let cool, then coarsely chop and transfer to a medium bowl. Add the banana and maple syrup and stir to coat.
Peel the squash. In a blender, puree the squash, water, crčme fraîche and cinna- mon until very smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan and warm over low heat. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with the banana-nut topping and watercress and serve hot or at room temperature.