Ripe, plump, and plentiful squash and pumpkins signal the beginning of fall and cooler weather. A great way to use them up is in spicy, aromatic soups, like this one.
I have made a simple purée version and dolled it up with a dollop of fresh cream and a crispy pancetta slice. This would make an elegant starter for a special occasion meal, or just a decadent lunch to curl up and eat in your pyjamas. Hey, I’m not judging.
But if you would like a really substantial, stand-alone soup, I’ve added some additional goodies that turn the simple purée into an earthy, warming, rib sticking dinner. Try both and let me know what you think!
Roasted Squash Soup
Take advantage of the fall harvest of squash and pumpkins with this warming and satisfying soup.
Simple Purée Soup
- 5 lbs spaghetti squash ((or 5 lbs of your favourite squash or pumpkin))
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 tsp <wprm-code><a href="/eats/make-it-hawayej-a-yemenite-spice-blend">hawayej spice</a></wprm-code> ((click for the recipe!))
- 1 tsp tumeric ((optional: use it if you need to pump up the colour))
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 8 slices pancetta bacon ((optional garnish))
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
Squash Soup as a Meal: Additional Ingredient Options
- 2 pan roasted chicken breasts or back quarters, with bone and skin ((This is a great way to use up leftover chicken, if you have it))
- 2 red potatoes, cut into small bite size pieces.
- 1 ear fresh corn kernels, cut from the cob or 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
Preheat oven to 350 F. Cut the stem end off of the squash. Stand squash upright on its cut end and using a large, sharp knife, cut the squash in half, lengthwise.
Scoop out the seeds. These can be saved for toasting!
Brush the cut face of the squash halves with olive oil and place face down on a parchment lined baking pan. Place on the middle rack of the oven. Roast for 40 minutes to 1 hour, or until squash is tender all the way through. Time will vary according to the type of squash.
If adding chicken, heat up a frying pan with a scant amount of oil on medium high. Season pieces with salt and pepper. Place chicken pieces, skin side down in the hot oil for 7 or 8 minutes, until brown. Turn and cook on the other side for 7 or 8 minutes. Place in a small roasting or baking pan and place on the middle rack of oven for 15 5o 20 minutes, or until juices run clear. Set aside.
When the squash is roasted, set aside to cool down enough to handle. Meanwhile, melt butter in the stockpot on medium high.
Add onions to the melted butter and cook until tender.
Scoop the flesh from the squash and it ready to go into the soup.
Add garlic to the onions and fry for about 1 minute.
Add spices and stir into the onion/garlic mixture..
Add squash and stir to combine.. Cook for about 2 or 3 minutes, until the squash starts to break down into a softer pulp.
Stir in chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Stir in tomato sauce and season with salt and pepper, if needed.
Turn down to medium low and cook for a further 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool down a bit. Meanwhile, fry the pancetta bacon, if using, until crisp. Set bacon aside.
When soup is cool enough to be safe to blend, use an immersion blender to make a smooth purée.
Heat soup up to serve. Pour into individual bowls or a tureen. Pour cream into the centre and swirl into the soup with the end of a wooden spoon. Float pancetta on top and garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro, if desired.
Soup as a Meal Optional Instructions
Omit the serving instructions above and add potato pieces to hot soup. Bring to the boil for 5 minutes, then turn down to medium and cover for 20 to 25 minutes.
While the potatoes are cooking in the soup, remove the meat from the chicken pieces. Reserve the skin.
Fry the red bell pepper in the pan juices of the chicken on medium high, for about 3 minutes and add to soup.
When the potatoes are tender, add the corn and chicken meat to the soup. Turn down to low.
Add about 1 tbsp of oil to the frying pan and fry the chicken skins on medium high, turning like bacon, until crispy. Cut into thin strips or break into shards and use as a garnish for the soup.
Add parsley to the soup and serve, garnished with crispy chicken skin.