Monday, January 2, 2012

Recipe 33: Spicy Chickpea and Butternut Squash Soup

Recipe 33: Spicy Chickpea and Butternut Squash Soup
(adapted from the New England Soup Factory Cookbook)

Spicy Chickpea and Butternut Squash Soup
Also the moment I realized four more cups of liquid were NOT going in peacefully.

     Somehow, someway I made it to late December without having cooked butternut once.  I know, RIGHT?  I decided to remedy this late last week and restock my freezer with some soup in preparation to be lazy when I have to go back to work after two weeks of vacation and instantly turn into an under-napped toddler and whine about not wanting to cook when I get home.  I like to stay a step ahead of myself!  Thusly, I decided to try a new butternut recipe that had some spice and sweetness to it, and went for the New England Soup Factory cookbook's recipe.  Except remember how the recipes from here make massive amounts of food? Yeah.

     There was no way 12 cups of stock plus approximately 7 more cups of stuff were fitting into my 6.75 Qt Le Creuset pot an imminent and epic soup spill.  So I went rogue when I realized this (always halfway into the recipe; I'll never learn!) and switched it up a bit.  I was worried about it being too salty or too sweet, but it came out pretty well, so I feel pretty good about you being able to alter it without major repercussions.  Additionally, I'm not entirely sure why the recipe calls for as much stock as it version with full amounts of veggies and less stock still had an uneven stock to fixin's ratio, making me wonder how ridiculous the stock to fixin's ratio would be with four more cups of fluid to dilute it.  The flavors are good, and it even cutting back on the broth made enough for me to have four meals and freeze about 6-8 more servings.  I didn't get my ginger defrosted in time but would have loved to use fresh ginger in place of ground ginger spice here to enhance the flavor.  Personally, I like a decent amount of spice; the original recipe called for scotch bonnet but the grocery store only had adorable habaneros (I think that is what it was....).  Let me know if you try, enjoy!  If you prefer to try the original, I suggest you get a copy of the book: New England Soup Factory Cookbook: More Than 100 Recipes from the Nation's Best Purveyor of Fine Soup


  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow or white onion, peeled and diced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup diced celery (approximately 2 stalks)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (or pressed)
  • 1 lb - 20oz butternut squash, peeled and sliced into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 cups (1 14-16 oz can) canned diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups 1 14-16 oz can) canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 8 cups (64 oz) vegetable stock
  • 2 cups vegetable juice
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can (14 oz) light coconut milk
  • 1 diced habanero pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley (or 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro if you like the devil's herb)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1.  In a large stockpot or Le Creuset, heat olive oil over medium high heat.
2.  Add onion, carrot, garlic, and celery and saute for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables begin to soften and lightly brown.
3.  Add butternut to the pot and cooke for about five more minutes, also stirring occasionally.
4.  Add the tomato through brown sugar to the pot, bringing the ingredients to a boil and then reducing the head to a medium setting to allow the soup to simmer for 45 or so minutes until the squash is quite soft.  Taste, and if you feel the soup is too salty, sweet, or cloying, add at least one cup of water to dilute, stirring well and tasting to make an informed decision.
5.  Remove the pot from heat and stir in coconut milk, pepper, parsley, and season to your taste.
6.  Enjoy!

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