This delicious winter soup features an explosion of flavors which pairs well with Estancia Monterey County Chardonnay.
Preheat oven to 375˚. In a large bowl, combine the butternut squash and parsnip chunks. In a small bowl, stir together cinnamon, ginger, coriander, cumin, pimentón, 3 teaspoons of kosher salt, honey and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the spice mixture to the squash and parsnips and toss well to coat (note: hands are best tools for this.). Pour Estancia Monterey Chardonnay into a roasting pan large enough to accommodate the vegetable mixture in one layer. Add the vegetables. Cover pan with foil and bake until vegetables are tender 40 to 50 minutes. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, garlic and a pinch of kosher salt. Reduce heat and saute until the leeks and garlic are translucent and tender. Add the cooked butternut squash and parsnips and any seasoned juices from the roasting pan and stir to combine. Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Allow soup to simmer for ten minutes. Taste and add more salt, if needed. Puree with immersion blender, or allow to cool 10 to 15 minutes, and puree in batches in blender, holding the lid on tightly. Serve soup topped with harissa pepitas, a dollop of créme fraîche, pimentón and cilantro leaves. Soup flavor improves if prepared a day or two ahead of serving. Keeps well refrigerated 3 to 4 days.
Harissa Pepitas: (Yields 1 cup)
Preheat oven to 350˚ and place a rack in the middle. Line baking sheet with parchment or silicone baking mat. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir to coat well. Spread pepitas in one layer on prepared baking sheet. Roast pepitas, stirring until toasted and golden about 10 minutes. Pepitas will continue to crisp as they cool. Allow to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. May be prepared several days ahead.