Sunday, November 13, 2011

Spicy Squash Soup - vegetarian and mostly fat-free

There are a lot of recipes for squash soup. Most of them seem to fall into one of two categories. Either they're flavored with a green-tasting herb like tarragon, or they're flavored with spices that you might find in pumpkin pie.

I decided to head off in a different direction - warm, spicy flavors.

And while I was at it, I made this soup accidentally vegetarian. If you skip the garnish, it's also vegan and mostly fat-free as well, unless you're using leftover squash or potatoes that were cooked with butter.

While this recipe assumes you're starting from scratch to make this soup, you can certainly use left over squash or potatoes, if you happen to have them. Just keep in mind that any seasoning you put into those vegetables will end up in the soup.

Spicy Squash Soup

1 small butternut squash
1 medium potato
1 teaspoon salt
1 leek, white and light green part only
1 clove garlic
Several grinds of white pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Roast, cut-side down, on a baking sheet at 350 degrees until the squash is soft.

Meanwhile, peel the potato and cut it into cubes. Put 2 quarts of water into a heavy bottomed pot and add the potatoes and salt. Cut the leek in half, then cut it in chunks, Rinse to remove any dirt or grit and add it to the pot. Peel the garlic and add it to the pot as well.

Bring the water to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender. When the squash is cooked, remove the flesh from the skin and add the flesh to the simmering pot. Add the white pepper, cinnamon, cumin, and cayenne, and stir to combine.

Puree the soup with a stick blender until it is smooth. Alternatively, you could transfer the soup to a blender to puree it, but I recommend a stick blender - it's easier, and you don't have to worry about moving hot liquids around. If you do use a blender, puree in small batches, or you risk blowing the top off the blender and making a huge mess.

Continue cooking for a few more minutes to let the flavors mingle. Add water if you prefer a thinner soup, or cook it longer if you like it thicker. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, if needed. Add more cayenne if you prefer a spicier soup.

Serve hot. I suggest a garnish of chevre on top of each serving of soup.

1 comment:

chefpandita.com said...

Great combination of spices :)

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