This soup is a good example of taking a simple, seasonal ingredient and elevating its flavor and presentation by adding complementary flavors with the fennel and pear. Plus, a warming soup is a perfect wintertime meal.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss cut squash with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Place vegetables on baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes. Let cool.
Over low heat, warm two tablespoons olive oil in Dutch oven or large pot. Stir in shallots. Season lightly with salt and cook for five minutes. Add fennel, celery, garlic, and a pinch more salt and cook for another 7 minutes. Stir in ginger, cumin, nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt and some fresh pepper, then add cooked squash. Pour in the chicken and vegetable broth and increase heat to bring to a boil. Once the soup boils, reduce the heat to low. Add the pears and orange peels. Partially cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes.
Puree the soup, in batches, in the blender. Taste for salt and pepper; add more as you wish.
When serving, finish with lemon juice and garnish with crème fraîche and pumpkin seeds.