Preheat oven to 375°C. Cut squash in half, lengthwise, and remove seeds with a spoon. Lay the squash on a baking sheet, flesh side up, and season each half with a pinch of salt, fresh cracked black pepper, and a pinch of cinnamon. Spoon in ½ tsp of ghee in each squash. Bake in a 375°C oven for 45min – 60 min, or until fork tender.
When the squash is fork tender, remove from the oven and let cool at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. Once cooled, and able to be handled, scoop out all of the inner flesh with a large spoon or melon baller and give it a rough chop. Discard the skin and set the flesh aside for the moment.
Heat a large Dutch oven or a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon to the pot and cook until crisp. Remove from pot and transfer onto paper towel for the time being.
Lower the heat to medium. Depending on your bacon, you may need to remove all but 3 tbsp of the liquid fat that has rendered into the pot. Add in the celery, carrot, onion and garlic and cook until vegetables have softened. Season with a pinch of salt (this will help to sweat the vegetables.)
Once the carrots have softened and the onions are translucent, sprinkle in 1 tsp of Paprika. Stir to coat the vegetables and to release the spice’s essential oils. Cook for no longer than 1 minute.
Add the chicken stock and squash flesh. Bring everything to a boil and then lower the heat to a gentle simmer for 15 minutes.
Working in batches, so as not to overflow, transfer everything to a food processor or blender and puree until the soup is creamy and smooth (this can also be done in the pot with a handheld immersion blender). Once the desired consistency is reached, return the puréed soup to the pot. Add in the maple syrup and simmer over low heat. Be sure to taste for seasoning at this point, adding salt, pepper or maple syrup to taste (I prefer this soup with a bit more maple syrup! But that’s just me!)
Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls, garnish with the crisped bacon, some finely chopped sage and a small drizzle of pumpkin seed oil.