It’s pumpkin everything right now, but why not embrace a different good-for-you orange produce and whip up some savory soup with nary a sprinkle of pumpkin spice in sight? It’s easier than you think to make your own comforting soup at home—and the perfect thing for a cold, drizzly weekend. This robust Southwestern-flavored soup is a favorite cold weather lunch or simple supper, says cookbook author Joanna Pruess, who contributed this recipe to Real Food. Have a few friends over for lunch or double the recipe and bring it to a potluck. It’s rich in texture and flavor, especially with the addition of spicy chocolate-based mole paste (a Mexican staple). To make it as tempting to look at as it is to taste, drizzle sour cream or plain yogurt decoratively on the top and shower with chopped cilantro and sliced scallions.
Southwestern Butternut Squash Soup
Makes 6 to 8 servings
1 (3-pound) butternut squash, split, seeds and fibers removed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 each medium red and green bell pepper, seeds and membranes removed, and finely chopped
3 tablespoons purchased dark mole paste
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
salt and pepper, to taste
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream or plain yogurt
chopped cilantro leaves and sliced scallions, to garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
2. Place squash, cut side down, on a lightly oiled baking pan and bake until soft, about 55 to 65 minutes. Remove from oven and, when cool enough to handle, scrape flesh into a bowl. Mash with a fork until more or less smooth.
3. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onions until translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Add garlic, cook for 30 seconds, then stir in peppers, mole paste, coriander, cumin, stock and squash. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and continue cooking for about 5 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and plenty of pepper.
4. Fill a clean plastic squeeze bottle with sour cream or yogurt. Ladle soup into wide, heated bowls. Squeeze sour cream or yogurt onto soup in a cross-hatch or squiggle pattern. Sprinkle cilantro and scallions on soup. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Hungry for more tastes of the season?
Check out these other recipes I have highlighted:
• Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake—It’s studded with chocolate chips and topped off with a drizzle of melted chips
• Pumpkin Muffins with Pecan Praline Topping—Moist sweet pumpkin muffins crowned with a crunchy pecan and brown sugar topping that is reminiscent of New Orleans pralines
• Maple Pumpkin Spice Popcorn—Flavors of the season mix in to the munchable maize
• Savory Pumpkin Soup with Gruyère Toasts—A cinch to make yet with complex savory rather than sweet flavors
• Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust—Can’t decide between pumpkin pie and luscious cheesecake for a festive dessert? Here’s your answer.