To prepare the soup
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick food spray. Toss the winter squash cubes with the olive oil. Place in a single layer on the prepared pan. Roast in the preheated oven until cooked through, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
In a medium stock pot or saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onion and sauté until the onion is translucent; about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the fl our and with the heat on low, stir and cook for 1 ½ minutes.
Add the roasted squash, the pears, cinnamon, ginger vegetable stock, maple syrup, salt and white pepper. Simmer on medium low heat, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and add the optional half and half or cream. Puree the soup in several batches in a food processor until smooth. Alternately, the soup can be pureed by placing an immersion blender directly into the pot. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. If the soup seems too thick, simply add some additional stock.
Garnish with toasted pepitas.
To prepare the toasted pepitas
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss all the ingredients together. Place pepitas on the prepared sheet pan. Roast for 6 to 7 minutes. Remove. Pepitas can be stored at room temperature in a zip lock bag or covered container.
8 to 10 servings