Have you ever tried a Red Kuri Squash? Sweet, nutty, chestnut flavored and just plain cute – they have me a bit smitten. Here’s an easy recipe for Roasted Kuri Squash Soup with Smokey Harissa and Crispy Chickpeas. The Moroccan flavors of Harissa give this robust soup a little heat and smokiness, and an earthiness from caraway and cumin seeds.
And know of course, this can be made with most any roasted winter squash, but I especially love the deep red-orange colored flesh of Kuri squash. Here, the Harissa is simplified down into a few simple spices, but feel free to use harissa paste instead. The chickpeas crisp up in the oven at the same time as the squash, so once the squash is done, the soup comes together fairly quickly… perfect for a weeknight meal. Drizzle with plain yogurt or labneh, or use the “smoked” yogurt from my Moroccan stuffed sweet potato recipe a couple weeks back.
On the home front…our house has been filled with music. Brian got us a record player and new speakers and we’ve been playing all our old tunes. It never ceases to amaze how music, like smell and taste, can transport us to another place and time. I’ve been listening to stuff I listened to way back in my teens, and with it, came a reminder of my younger self. The self that loved to dance and be silly and carefree. I almost forgot about her.
Garnish the soup with yogurt, crispy chickpeas, toasted pumpkin seeds, aleppo chili pepper and fresh cilantro. The yogurt really helps give this soup a contrasting “coolness” that I really enjoy, and everything else gives it a satisfying crunchy texture.
Red-orange kuri squash have a beautiful pumpkin shape, but without the ridges. They are sweet and nutty…. with hint of chestnut.
Hope you enjoy…. and let me know what you think!
- 1 Kuri Squash ( or small pumpkin, or acorn squash)
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed ( or 1 cup soaked, dry garbanzos), patted dry.
- 1-2 teaspoons olive oil, pinch salt, pinch pepper and generous pinch smoked paprika
- 2 Tablespoon coconut oil, ghee or butter
- ½ onion- diced
- 1 apple - diced
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (or ground)
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds (or ground)
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne (for medium spicy)
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4- 4 ½ cups water or stock
- Garnish - plain yogurt, "smoked yogurt" crispy chickpeas, toasted pumpkin seeds, chopped cilantro and scallions
- Pre heat Oven to 425F
- Cut squash in half lengthwise, scrape out seeds with a spoon and place on a parchment lined baking sheet, open side down.Roast squash in the oven for 40 minutes or until very tender and soft and caramelized.
- To make crispy chick peas, drain and rinse chick peas, Dry well with paper towels. toss with olive oil ( enough to lightly coat) salt, pepper and smoked paprika and spread out on separate sheet pan.
- Roast chickpeas,until crispy about 20 minutes.
- In a medium pot, heat coconut oil over medium high. Saute onion and apple for 2-3 minutes, stirring, then add garlic, turning heat down to medium. Saute a few more minutes until garlic is fragrant and golden and onions are tender. Add spices and toast for 1 minute, stirring.
- Remove from heat.
- Add the onion, apple mix to the blender with 1 cup of water (use this to rinse out the pot). Blend well, taking care to cover blender with a towel, holding lid down VERY tightly. Blend until spices and onions are very smooth. Place back in the pot. Blend the squash with the remaining water ( or stock) until very smooth, and place back in the pot. Heat over medium low heat, adding vinegar and maple. Adjust salt.
- Serve with a swirl of plain yogurt or "smoked yogurt", crispy chickpeas, toasted pumpkin seeds, Aleppo chili flakes, and fresh cilantro.
- Notes: Instead of the spices you could stir in a few teaspoons or more to taste, of harissa paste. The "smoked Yogurt" is basically plain yogurt mixed with a bit of smoked paprika.