Honeynut Squash Soup
A relatively new cultivar, the honeynut squash is a hybrid of butternut and buttercup squash, and is packed with flavor and sweetness. I roast them with our Curcumade and Shawarma West blends, then puree and top it with crispy shallots. Kabocha and buttercup squash also work great.
3 medium honeynut squash, scrubbed and split (about 3 pounds), or an equal weight of buttercup or kabocha squash*
1 large onion, peeled, root end trimmed
1 Tbsp Curcumade
1 Tbsp Shawarma West
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp salt
Chives for garnish
Fried shallots for garnish
Optionally, Baharat for garnish
Preheat your oven to 400°F and place a rack towards the bottom third. If you have a convection oven set it to 375°F.
Trim any root and flower ends from the squash, along with any rough pieces of peel.* Chop into 2" chunks. Chop the onion into eighths lengthwise. If you have enough squash seeds you can reserve them to roast separately.
Add the squash and onion to a sheet pan, and toss with with olive oil, salt, and the Curcumade and Shawarma West blends.
Roast the vegetables until they are nicely browned and softened. I find this takes about 25 minutes. No need to mix.
Remove the pieces to a strong blender, and add sufficient hot water to blend and form a creamy soup. Adjust to your tastes with salt. For an even finer texture you can pass the soup through a strainer.
Serve hot with crispy fried shallots, fresh chive rings, and optionally a dusting of Baharat.
Alternatively, serve chilled, with a bit of leek oil and charred leek.
* The skin on all of these varieties is edible. Buttercup and kabocha have a green skin which can darken the soup somewhat, so you're welcome to peel them for aesthetic purposes, but it's not necessary. If you can find the less common Japanese Kuri squash it works great too, and has an orange skin. Can't find any of them? Peeled butternut squash chunks work great too, but the skin is tough so they must be peeled.
Variations & Ideas:
• You can use chicken stock instead of water for a richer soup, but it will of course no longer be vegan. I like this version with a dollop of crème fraîche as well.
• For a milder but more delicate flavor, simmer the onion and squash in water until softened instead of roasting. I like to add a 3-inch piece of kombu seaweed as well.
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