Another year, another butternut squash soup recipe. Last year I posted a rosemary version (found here), but I have been loving Morrocan flavors lately and knew they would pair perfectly with butternut squash.
First you need Moroccan spices—specifically ras el hanout. So what is ras el hanout? It is a North African spice blend whose name means "top of the shelf"—as in the best of the best spices. And man is it delicious. Please do not be afraid of Morrocan spices! This beautiful blend is not hot or too potent. And ras el hanout can actually be found in most grocery store spice sections, as can ground turmeric. I bet you will like these flavors so much that you find other recipes to try your new spice blend out on.
Let's get started. Make sure you have a sturdy cutting board and a large sharp knife. But be careful!!!!! I like to cut off the very bottom and top of my butternut squash to begin. Then take and peel the skin with a good vegetable peeler. Lay the peeled squash flat on its side and cut it in half where the squash neck meets the widest part of the squash. Then take and cut both down the middle. Scoop and discard the seeds out of the wide part and then cube the squash. Put on a lined pan and sprinkle with olive oil and your ras el hanout and ground turmeric. Mix together with your clean hands and roast for an hour, turning halfway through.
When its done, set aside and get out your big ass soup pot. Saute the chopped onions, salt and pepper, in olive oil for 5-7 minutes. Then add a peeled, cored, and chopped apple to bring a little sweetness to the soup. Saute another 5 minutes. Then add the roasted squash to the pot.
Add the vegetable stock and the top solid from a can of coconut milk and stir to combine.
Doesn't look pretty yet, but it will! Turn off the heat and get your high powered food processor out. Working in batches with a ladle, scoop in half of your soup and process for 20-30 seconds. Pour out into a large bowl (I use a 8 cup pyrex measuring cup for these jobs). Then process the rest of your soup.
Return all the soup to the pot on the stovet op and reheat for about 10 minutes over low-medium heat, making sure not to boil the soup.
And that's it. I kid you not—it's that easy. What I like about this soup is that it is comforting enough for everyday, yet fancy enough to serve at a dinner party. And it will leave all your guests wondering what spices you used. You could even garnish it with fried shallots or roasted pumpkin seeds to really dress it up.
Or you can just eat it as it is with a good book and the fireplace on like I did. Hope you love this Moroccan Butternut Squash Soup as much as I do.
Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, cubed
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. Ras el hanout Moroccan spice blend
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
2 c. chopped sweet onions
1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. course black pepper
7 c. vegetable broth
1/2 c. solid from top of can of coconut milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lined large sheet pan (or two medium that will both fit on one oven rack), place cubed squash. Drizzle with olive oil and spices. Using your clean hands, mix it all up together and spread out evenly on the pan.
Roast for 30 minutes, flip with a spatula, roast for another 30 minutes. You should be able to easily pierce the squash cubes with a fork.
In a large soup pot, sauté the onions, salt, and pepper in olive oil for 5-7 minutes. Add the apple and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add the roasted squash, vegetable broth, coconut milk solid and stir to combine. Turn off burner.
In a high powered food processor, spoon half your soup in the blender. Blend for 20-30 seconds until pureed. Pour soup into a large bowl just to hold it between blends. Repeat with the remaining soup. Return to the soup pot and heat over low to medium heat for 10 minutes, making sure not to boil.