Butternut Squash Chick Pea Soup

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We Sephardim love squash in every way, shape, or form, and goodness knows it comes in countless shapes and sizes. To the classical pumpkin, which can often be a hit or miss inside, I much prefer the more reliable butternut squash, but my favorite is kabocha squash. I love its dense texture, low moisture, and mild sweetness. Perfect choice for a Rosh Hashanah menu! Don’t worry about peeling: I use it peel and all. the peel dissolves while cooking, and is actually very thin. The pairing of squash and chick peas is typically Sephardi, and a wonderful pairing, especially when rounded out, as it is here, with sweet spices. Please do take the trouble of using dried, not canned, chick peas in this recipe: you will taste the difference in the finished dish! Using a hammer makes short work of cutting the squash and many other gigantic vegetables. 

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 12Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried chick peas, soaked overnight in cold water and rinsed, reserved
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 2 large onions, quartered
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 medium size butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch squares
  • 1 medium kabocha squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch squares
  • 12 cups water
  • 2 pinches saffron
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 pinch nutmeg ground pepper to taste
  • ½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish (optional)

Preparation

1. Heat the oil in a wide heavy-bottom pan. 

2. In a food processor, coarsely grind the onions, and add to the skillet. 

3. Reduce the flame to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very dark. 

4. Add brown sugar and cook 2 minutes more, stirring. Add the reserved chick peas and all but the last 2 ingredients, and bring to a boil. 

5. Reduce to medium-low and cook 2 hours. Cream the soup in batches with an immersion blender. 

6. Add the ground pepper, and adjust seasonings and texture. 

Top each serving with a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds, if desired. 

Recipe published in JOY of KOSHER with Jamie Geller Fall 2012. Subscribe Now.

Bitayavon, Fall 2012 Magazine