The high heat of an air fryer quickly caramelizes vegetables, giving this creamy soup deep flavor. The addition of a few dried spices adds warmth and seasoning. Drizzle the finished soup with crème fraîche or plain yogurt and sprinkle with pepitas and chopped chives for a delicious vegetarian meal that’s particularly weeknight-friendly.
Preheat a 6-quart air fryer to 375 degrees F. Toss the butternut squash, carrots, bell pepper, onion, olive oil, granulated garlic, ginger, thyme, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and several grinds of black pepper together in a large bowl until well combined. Transfer to the air fryer basket. Fry until golden brown and tender, tossing halfway through, about 20 minutes.
Transfer the browned vegetables to a large pot or Dutch oven and add the broth and cream. Use an immersion blender to blend the mixture on medium-high until very smooth. (Alternatively, blend the mixture in a standard blender, first letting it cool for 5 minutes, then transferring it to the blender, filling only halfway. Put the lid on, leaving one corner open. Cover the lid with a kitchen towel to catch splatters, and pulse until very smooth, scrapping down the sides of the blender carafe with a rubber spatula as needed; pour the blended mixture back into the pot.)
Cook the soup over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is just simmering, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with pepitas, drizzle with crème fraîche or yogurt and sprinkle with chives.
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