BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP WITH PROSCIUTTO CROUTONS
Ingredients:

1 large butternut squash, halved, peeled, seeded and sliced into 1 inch slices

4 tbsps olive oil

1 cup vegetable oil

20 cloves garlic

¼ cup water

2 leeks finely chopped

5 cups vegetable or chicken broth

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

½ cup crème fraiche

2 tsps harissa

Salt & freshly ground black pepper.

2 tbsps finely chopped chives

2 large slices prosciutto, sliced crosswise into ¼ inch slices

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F

Combine squash and garlic cloves in a roasting pan and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, tossing well to coat.

Pour in the water and roast, stirring occasionally until the squash and garlic are soft and golden, 50-60 minutes. Add more water if necessary to prevent scorching. Remove from oven and set aside. When cool enough squeeze garlic pulp out of the skins.

Heat vegetable oil in a small sauté pan until hot but not smoking. Carefully add the prosciutto slices and fry until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. (If the oil is not hot enough the prosciutto will not crisp up). Drain on paper towels.

While the squash is roasting heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté until fragrant and golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Set aside. Puree the squash, garlic and leeks in batches in a blender or food processor with 1 cup of the broth until very smooth. Transfer to a large saucepan. Stir in the remaining 4 cups of broth and bring to a simmer. Stir in the nutmeg, harissa and crème fraiche. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with the chives and the prosciutto.

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