Azteca Squash Soup
I always feel like I need to apologize for posting another soup like this because most of the soup recipes on this site are of the Mexican-ish variety. They all have something distinct about them, so, to me, they’re different — which is why I’m not apologizing. :)
The thing that got my attention from this recipe was the butternut squash. I wasn’t a huge squash fan for most of my life, but I’m slowly coming around. Texture is really important to me, so I figured this one would be safe from mushy squash parts because it was pureed. It’s a light soup because it relies on the squash for its creaminess instead of cream, and there’s no meat to make it heavy. I think my squash was smaller than the recommended size because the flavor wasn’t that strong, but I’ll fix that for next time.
This recipe was under a “Spa Food” header in my magazine, and it made me wonder what spa food was. I’ve never been to a spa that served food. Actually I can count on one hand how many times I’ve been to a spa, period. I’m typically not the self-pampering type and would rather spend a couple hours (sans babies) baking something than getting a facial or a massage. (I know. I’m nuts.) If I found a spa that served food as good as this soup, then I may be converted.
Azteca Squash Soup
1 1 1/2 lb butternut squash, halved lengthwise, seeded
1 T olive oil
1 3/4 c chopped onion
1 c chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, chopped
6 cups (or more) vegetable or chicken broth, divided
1 tsp cumin
1 c canned black beans, rinsed, drained
1 c frozen corn
1 c chopped red bell pepper
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro plus sprigs for garnish
1 T chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp minced seeded serrano chile
Plain nonfat yogurt or sour cream
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Sprinkle the insides of the squash halves with salt and pepper. Arrange, cut side down, on prepared sheet. Roast squash until tender, around an hour. (Mine only took 45 minutes, but I think my squash was smaller.) Turn squash, cut-side up and cool. Scoop out flesh into a medium bowl.
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute onion until pale golden, about 10 minutes. Add celery and garlic; stir and cook for another minute. Add broth; cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add squash, 5 cups of broth and cumin. Cover and simmer another 20 minutes to blend flavors.
Puree soup using an immersion blender or work in batches using a blender and return soup to the pot. If you'd like to soup to be thicker, add more broth until you reach the desired consistency. Add black beans, corn, red bell pepper, cilantro, thyme, and serrano chile. Cover soup and simmer for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish each soup bowl with yogurt/sour cream and a sprig of cilantro. Tortilla chips are also a great garnish. Serves 6.
from Bon Appetit, Dec 2008