Would this soup be made in Mexico? I have no idea. No people or cookbooks provided any support for this claim. But its seasonings and flavor went well with the enchiladas my friends made.
So there I was at my farmers’ market this weekend near the end of the market – and one of the farmers had a box of butternut squash seconds for $1/lb. The tops were going mushy. And I asked the guy how many he thought I could get for $5… and walked away with 6 decent sized squash.
I scrubbed the outsides, trimmed the tops as necessary, split them in half lengthwise with my big knife, scooped out the seeds, and set them to roasting cut side down. It took 2 half sheet pans to roast them all.
Once they were tender, I let them cool a little, and then I peeled them and put the flesh all together in a container in the fridge – purpose to come soon.
Then this week I had 1 friend request vegetarian soups and another invite me over for enchilada dinner. Woo!
Mexican Butternut Squash Soup
Start off with about 4-5 cups of roasted butternut squash and a roasted head of garlic.
I began building the soup with a roux base, so I poured… oh, about 2 Tablespoons… olive oil into my soup pot and heated that up.
Since I wasn’t sure whether I would want to blend the soup smooth, I diced the (1 medium) onion fairly small. Toss that in and cook until translucent.
Once the onions were soft, I sprinkled flour on top until the onions were coated with flour, but none was still dry in the pan (about 2 Tablespoons – if it’s too dry, add more oil)
Then I opened up a jar of vegetable stock and added until everything went smooth and liquid (it took about 1 cup, but I’d been expecting to use more stock).
I added the roasted squash (2/3 of my total… somewhere around 4-6 cups) and I poured in the liquid the squash had released overnight in the fridge.
Cook that a bit until everything is hot and the squash is starting to break down. Meanwhile – drain a 24oz can of diced tomatoes (and reserve the liquid to use either if the soup becomes too dry during cooking or to use in making rice later in the week) and grind 1 tsp cumin, 2 tsp coriander, and 2 tsp ground oregano (or use ground herbs and spices).
And dices tomatoes to the squash. Stir. Break up the squash more every time you stir.
Sift the ground spices into the soup (because whole coriander is ornery in a mortar & pestle YMMV). Add salt and pepper. I added some ground savory, too. If the color isn’t pleasing, you could go for some paprika, but I was pleased with things without.
I added about half of the cloves from the roasted garlic.
Stir, mash, stir.
This soup really came together quickly – about 20 minutes – so I also added the juice of half a lime to encourage it to stay the pretty color it had hit. And I was pleased with the amount the squash had broken down (mostly smooth, with some chunks, no pieces larger than half a teaspoon), so I left it chunky.
What this soup was really missing was spice, but that was a deliberate choice based on its audience, so I took a chipotle hot sauce with me instead.