Sensational Squash Soup just in time for the Fall …
It’s squash season again! And I had to exhume this old recipe from my stash of best soups on the planet. I learned about this particular soup a few years ago when my kids and I took a road trip. It was fall, the weather was cool, the leaves had begun to change and we decided to drive from NJ, through upstate NY into Canada. We ended up having lunch one afternoon in the historic district of Montreal at a place called Olive+Gourmando. If you know anything about Montreal, it’s that they have some killer gourmet restaurants. We ordered everything we possibly could, including the soup du jour, which happened to be squash soup. I was so inspired by this soup that the very next day we arrived back home, I ran out and got the ingredients to try and re-create it. It came pretty darn close. Here’s the recipe…
- 1 large butternut squash (in case you don’t know your squashes, here’s what this one looks like)
- 1/2 large acorn squash (looks like this)
- 5 Tbsp butter (unsalted) (replace with 4 teaspoons of grapeseed oil to make this recipe vegan)
- 3 Tbsp Grapeseed oil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 cup sweet onion
- 2 Tbsp of “Better than Boullion” chicken stock (or 2 chicken boillion cubes, or 2 vegetable stock boillion cubes)
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 2 whole minced scallions
- 1 can or 1 full cup of cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 3/4 cup minced fresh mango
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- salt, pepper to flavor
Preheat oven to 425F. Arrange rack in oven to middle.
Cut both squash in halves, removing seeds and place one tablespoon of butter on each half (4 tablespoon in total). Cover a shallow baking sheet with tin foil, and place squash (cut side up) on top. Season with salt, pepper and maybe even a little garlic powder. Sprinkle your spices generously, then roast squash for 50 minutes to 1 hour, depending on when “meat” is soft when you poke it with a fork.
Meanwhile, dice your garlic and onion and throw in a soup pot on medium heat, along with your grapeseed oil and the remaining butter. Sauté.
Add 2 cups of the water and the stock to your sauté mixture. Let the stock disolve by bringing to a boil. I like to use chicken stock, but vegetable stock is fine too, and will keep this dish vegetarian. To make it vegan, remove all butter from the recipe, and replace with olive or grapeseed oil. Remove from heat, and set aside.
Once your squash is done, set it on a wire rack to let it cool. Otherwise, it’s a little too hot to handle. When ready, use an ice cream scooper and scoop out contents of three of the halves and place into a bowl. I took the fourth half, set it aside and made butternut squash bread (to serve with the soup, of course!). In a food processor, purée the squash, adding it into the soup pot that you’ve set aside. Make sure to place the soup pot back onto the burner and keep on medium to low heat at least for 30 minutes, add remaining water, stir and let simmer. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.
- IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are not ready to serve soup in 10-15 minutes, do not move on or add the remaining ingredients. Store soup in fridge or freezer for however long without the remaining ingredients. You do this because you don’t want these more delicate flavors and textures to steep together and meld into a new flavor. What I did was leave the soup on very low heat to keep warm, for a couple hours, stirring ocassionally, while I made the bread. Once I was ready to serve dinner however, I added the rest of the ingredients…
Throw in chickpeas and minced scallions. Cook for another 10-15 minutes.
When ready to serve, add in minced, fresh mangoes and stir. Serve with warm crusty bread and butter.
Nutrition: This soup is a great anti-inflammatory. It’s also a great source of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium and Magnesium, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese. Low in saturated fat and cholesterol.