Moroccan Spiced Squash Soup
This spicy, warming, root veggie soup is the perfect meal on a chilly winter day, but is also great for any other kind of day! Though I love this soup in the cold, I enjoyed it just as much when I made it the other day in Saigon, where it is currently hot af. One of the great things about Saigon: winter squashes are always in season :)
You will need:
1 medium butternut squash
(you could also use a large acorn or medium kabocha squash)
2 large carrots
1 small yellow onion
3 cups cooked chickpeas, or 1&1/2 cans (these are already cooked)
2-3 Tbsp Ras El Hanout spice blend (if you don't have it, see below)
1 Tbsp maple syrup (optional)
3 Tbsp Coconut oil
1/4 cup plain yogurt (vegan options work great here)
1 bunch of cilantro
Salt and Pepper to taste
50 minutes total for prepping and cooking
1 mixing bowl
1 baking sheet
An immersion blender (preferable), or a regular blender
If you don't have Ras El Hanout...
Whisk together in a small bowl
1 tspn salt
1 tspn ground cumin
1 tspn ground ginger
3/4 tspn ground black pepper
1/2 tspn ground corriander seed
1/2 tspn ground cinnamon
1/2 tspn ground allspice
1/2 tspn ground cayenne
1/4 tspn cloves
1/4 tspn ground cardomom
1/4 tspn chili flakes
You see why having the spice blend is handy! I do recommend purchasing a Ras El Hanout blend also because they include extra goodies like spearmint, long pepper, mace, and rose petals :)
1. Preheat your oven to 350° F, or 175° C.
2. Peel your squash, carrots, and onion, and chop them into about 1 inch cubes. You can put the squash and carrots together, but keep your onion separate for now.
3. In a mixing bowl, add your squash and carrot cubes, and 2 Tbsp of coconut oil. Mix them all around in the bowl so you coat the cubes well, sprinkle with a couple of pinches of salt and a pinch of ground black pepper, and mix them again.
4. Spread your squash and carrot cubes around on your baking sheet, and stick them in the oven, and set a timer for 25 minutes (you'll be roasting them for an additional 15 minutes).
5. While your squash is in the oven, toss your onion pieces in the still-oily mixing bowl, and get your onion bits oiled.
6. When your 25 minute timer goes off, add your onion onto the pan with the squash and carrots, and roast for another 15 minutes.
7. While all your veggies are in the oven, toss your chickpeas into the mixing bowl and drizzle them with the remaining 1 Tbsp of coconut oil and the maple syrup. Mix thoroughly, then sprinkle 1 Tbsp of the Ras El Hanout mix over the chickpeas and mix again, coating them evenly with the spice. Feel free to add more spice mix if you like.
8. When the veggies are done roasting (the squash and carrots have had 40 mins and the onion's had 15), take them out of the oven, and allow them to cool for 10 minutes or so.
9. While your veggies are cooling, toss your oiled and spiced chickpeas onto the baking sheet and pop them in the oven (same temperature) for 10 minutes. Let them sit and cool after taking them out.
10. If you have an immersion blender, transfer your veggies into your pot. Add 1 Tbsp Ras El Hanout mix, and enough water to just cover the veggies, and start blending using your immersion blender (god I love these contraptions). Add more water a little at a time until the consistency is good for you. Now you can start adding salt and pepper and more ras el hanout to taste if you wish.
If you don't have an immersion blender, allow the veggies to cool completely (you can stick them in the fridge to speed this up), and then transfer them to your blender (you'll probably have to do this in portions, blending like 1/4 of the veggies with water at a time). Add enough water to get the blender going, and blend it up. You can make the consistency to your liking by adding more or less water. When it's all blended, pour it into the pot to stir in your spices- 1 tbsp ras el hanout, salt and pepper and more ras el hanout to taste.
11. Congrats! You've finished the soup part! Now put your pot of soup on the stove over medium heat to warm your soup.
12. While your soup is heating, mix your plain yogurt with a tbsp or two of water (depending on the thickness) in a small bowl. You want it to end up being the consistency of heavy cream.
13. Put it all together! Stir about 2/3 of the roasted chickpeas directly into the soup. When you serve it up, drizzle some yogurt on top, sprinkle a couple tablespoons of chickpeas on, and add as much fresh cilantro (whole leaves or chopped) as you want!
This recipe is pretty balanced Ayurvedically speaking- the root veggies are sweet, the spices are savory and salty, the yogurt is sour (and great for digestion), and the cilantro is bitter and astringent. You've got a nice blend of the six tastes here, but feel free to play around with the recipe to make it your own! <3