My friends each brought their own mug for the soup.
2 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
3 onions, quartered
2 fennel heads, quartered
1 Fuji or Gala apple, cut into 1-inch chunks
3½ teaspoons salt
1½ teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons fennel seed
3 teaspoons yellow curry powder
½ cup grapeseed oil (or other favorite cooking oil), divided
1 red jalapeño, seeded and cut into slices
1½ quarts vegetable stock
4 cups water
Optional garnish: toasted pepitas or a drizzle of crema
Preheat oven to 375°. Place squash chunks in one large bowl and onion, fennel, and apple chunks in another. Combine salt, pepper, fennel seed, and curry powder, and sprinkle half of this mixture and half of the oil over contents of each bowl, tossing to coat. Spread contents of each bowl evenly over two large sheet trays, place in preheated oven, and roast for about 1 hour.
When everything is golden brown and smelling heavenly, place the roasted vegetables and apples into a large soup pot along with the sliced red jalapeño. Add the vegetable stock and enough water to cover everything and bring the soup to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow soup to cool down enough that it can be safely puréed in a blender or food processor. Blend in batches, transferring each batch into a large bowl until all of the soup is blended, then transfer it all back into the soup pot. Reheat to serving temperature, adjusting the seasoning as necessary. Serve hot, garnished with toasted pepitas or a drizzle of crema.