Butternut Squash Soup with Red Chile and Mint


Waste not, want not is the theme for this (healthy) rich winter squash recipe from the talented cookbook author Deborah Madison, published in Sunset Magazine. No parts of the squash go unused… The peels, seeds and pulp go into a pot of boiling water – along with some coriander seeds and peppercorns – to make the vegetable broth.

Winter Squash Soup with Red Chile and Mint
Winter Squash Soup with Red Chile and Mint

Start the Vegetable Broth Peel 2 lbs of butternut squash (or other winter squash) into 1″ cubes. As you go, toss the squash peels, pulps and seeds into a simmering pot holding 5 cups of water. (Keep the squash cubes out of the broth.)

Also add the ends of the onion you’re chopping (including the paper), some mint and basil sprigs, and 1 tsp each of coriander seeds and peppercorns. (We didn’t have coriander seeds so we used powdered coriander, and slightly less than 1 tsp.) Keep simmering for 30 minutes or so. Then complete the steps below.

Making Vegetable Broth
Making Vegetable Broth

Make the Soup In a large pot over medium heat, heat 2 tsp light sesame oil or olive oil. Add the squash cubes, the chopped onion, 2 T chopped fresh basil, 1 T chopped fresh mint and cook for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add 1 cinnamon stick, a pinch of salt and 1 T ground dried New Mexico chiles or 1/2 tsp red chile flakes. Then add four cups of the vegetable broth, another tsp of powdered coriander, 1/2 tsp of clove powder and freshly ground black pepper.* Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to a simmer and cook, partly covered until the squash is tender. This will take 20 to 25 minutes.

*Ms. Madison made a sachet out of cheesecloth and filled it with 12 coriander seeds, 12 black peppercorns and 4 cloves instead of adding these powdered ingredients. We didn’t have cheesecloth, but if you do and have the inclination to make a sachet, drop it in instead and pull it out when the soup is done.

Puree the soup in a blender in batches, and season with salt. Then ladle into bowls and swirl a tsp of cream into each. Top with a pinch of ground chiles.

Winter Squash Soup with Red Chile and Mint
Winter Squash Soup with Red Chile and Mint

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs butternut squash
  • 2 T light sesame oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 T chopped fresh basil
  • 1 T chopped fresh mint
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 T ground dried New Mexico chiles (or 1/2 tsp red chile flakes)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (made from the butternut squash) or chicken stock or water
  • 12 coriander seeds, 12 black peppercorns and 4 cloves, tied in a cheesecloth
  • 2 T whipping cream

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Seattle Foodshed

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