Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mexican-Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

My list of things to make last weekend in hopes the recipes would turn out delectably, photograph beautifully, and make for easy blogging this week included a slow-cooker version of pork carnitas with caramelized onions.   The carnitas turned out to be none of the above.  Fortunately, a lone butternut squash inspired this Mexican-Spiced Butternut Squash Soup to serve as a first course with the meal. 

Butternut squash is a power food packed full of good stuff -- phytonutrients, antioxidants, fiber, potassium, vitamin B6 and folate. I've used butternut squash in chili and lasagna, but the easiest way to include it in your diet is to toss it with a little olive oil and roast it or use it to make soup.  We've enjoyed many pots of Curried Butternut Squash Soup as well as last Thanksgiving's Butternut Squash and Tasso Bisque. This Mexican-Spiced Butternut Squash Soup is flavored with a combination of smoky and pungent spices to warm you up on a chilly fall night.

Mexican-Spiced Butternut Squash Soup 

  • 1 2-pound butternut squash
  • 1 teaspoon plus one tablespoon olive oil (divided)
  • 1 1/4 cup (one medium) chopped onion 
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 minced chipotle in adobo
  • 1 teaspoon Cholula hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (plus 2 tablespoons extra for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons light cream
  • 1 lime, cut into 8ths
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil.  
  3. Slice the butternut squash length-wise down the center and scoop out the seeds.  Rub the cut side of each half with the teaspoon of olive oil.
  4. Roast, cut-side down on the baking sheet for 40-50 minutes until soft and caramelizing.  The squash should be cooked long enough that the skin can be peeled off.
  5. Allow the squash to cool a bit, then peel off the skin.  Roughly chop the roasted squash.
  6. Heat a dutch oven over medium heat and pour in the tablespoon of olive oil.
  7. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it softens and begins to brown.  Stir in the garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Add the cumin and coriander and cook for   about 30 seconds.
  8. Pour the chicken broth into the pot, then add the squash, chipotle, Cholula, salt and pepper.  Simmer for about 15 minutes.
  9. Turn off the heat and allow the soup to cool a bit, then puree with an immersion blender or in batches in a conventional blender.
  10. Rewarm the soup and add the cilantro.  If using an immersion blender, carefully pulse it a few times in the soup to more finely mince and distribute the cilantro.
  11. Bring the soup to just barely a simmer, then stir in the cream.  Cook for about another 5 minutes.
  12. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning to taste.
  13. Serve the soup garnished with cilantro and lime.
Yield: 4 servings
Total cook time: 1 1/2 hours

If you are not accustomed to cooking with chipotle in adobo, be forewarned:  they are hot!  You may want to add the chipotle a bit at a time, pureeing after each addition,  to make sure you don't get it too hot.

The soup makes a perfect first course for a Mexican-inspired dinner.   For family dinner or casual entertaining, I love to serve this kind of pureed vegetable soup in a mug before sitting down at the table for the rest of the meal.   Hard apple cider and white Rioja are both great pairings. 

This post is linked to These Chicks Cooked.


The Café Sucré Farine said...

Lynn, this looks fantastic! I LOVE fall seasonal soups and this one sounds like it's loaded with flavor! I wish I had a bowl for my lunch today!

Lynn said...

Thanks -- I did have the leftovers for lunch. I started the day with a bit of a stuffy head, but the chipotle in the soup took care of it!

Katie said...

I think I need to give this a try ASAP. I just found your blog and am loving it! Great stuff!

Lynn said...

Welcome Katie! I hope you enjoy the soup. I made it twice this week to test the recipe so I've eaten a fair amount of it but could still eat more!

Virginia said...

Great flavor! We made it a few weeks ago and froze for an easy weeknight meal. Had it the other night. The heat definitely develops over time!

Lynn said...

I would think it would freeze well -- I really need to get some of those kinds of meals in my freezer!