Recipe: Moroccan Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

Moroccan Spiced Butternut Squash Soup with Harissa Pepitas

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into rough 2-inch chunks
  • 1/2 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into rough 2-inch chunks
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon pimentón (smoked paprika), plus extra for garnish
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided 3/4 cup Estancia Monterey Chardonnay
  • 2 medium leeks, trimmed, rinsed and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock,or water

Garnish

Ingredients

  • Harissa pepitas (recipe below)
  • Crème fraîche
  • Pimentón
  • Cilantro leaves

Preheat oven to 375 F. In a large bowl, combine the butternut squash and parsnip chunks. In a small bowl, stir together cinnamon, ginger, coriander, cumin, pimentón, kosher salt, honey and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the spice mixture to the squash and parsnips and toss well to coat. (Hands are best tools for this!)

Pour Estancia Monterey Chardonnay into a roasting pan large enough to accommodate the vegetable mixture in one layer; add the vegetables. Cover pan with foil and bake until vegetables are tender, 40-50 minutes. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, garlic and a pinch of kosher salt. Reduce heat and sauté until the leeks and garlic are translucent and tender.

Add the cooked butternut squash and parsnips and any seasoned juices from the roasting pan and stir to combine. Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Allow soup to simmer for ten minutes. Taste and add more salt, if needed.

Puree with immersion blender, or allow to cool 10-15 minutes and puree in batches in blender, holding the lid on tightly.

Serve soup topped with harissa pepitas, a dollop of créme fraîche, pimentón and cilantro leaves. Soup flavor improves if prepared a day or two ahead of serving. Keeps well refrigerated 3-4 days.

Harissa Pepitas

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pepitas
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 heaping teaspoon harissa
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line the baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir to coat well. Spread pepitas in one layer on prepared baking sheet. Roast pepitas on center rack, stirring until toasted and golden, about 10 minutes. Pepitas will continue to crisp as they cool; allow to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. May be prepared several days ahead.

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