Moroccan Butternut Squash Chick Pea soup
Posted on 8th of July, 2012 by Lévana
We Sephardi love squash in every way shape of form, and goodness knows it comes in countless shapes and sizes. To the classical pumpkin, which can often be hit or miss inside (sometimes we do want to eat pumpkin, not just make Halloween funny faces with it!), I much prefer the more reliable butternut squash, but my great favorite is kabocha squash (top right in the picture): I love its dense texture and low moisture, and mild sweetness.Perfect choice for a Rosh Hashanah menu!
Don’t worry about peeling: I use it peel and all. The peel dissolves during the cooking, and is actually very thin.
The pairing of squash and chick peas is typically Sephardi, and a wonderful pairing, especially when rounded out, as here, with sweet spices.
Please do take the trouble of using dried, not canned, chick peas, here: you will taste the difference in the finished dish!
Using a hammer makes short work of cutting the squash and many other gigantic vegetables.
1 cup dried chick peas, soaked overnight in cold water and rinsed, reserved
1/3 olive oil
2 large onions, quartered
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 medium size butternut squash, or 1 medium kabocha squash, about 3 1/2 pounds, peeled, seeded and cut in 1″ squares
3 quarts (12 cups) water
2 good pinches saffron
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 tablespoon ground ginger
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 pinch nutmeg
Ground pepper to taste
Garnish: 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, optional.
Heat the oil in a wide heavy bottom pan. In a food processor, coarsely grind the onions, and add to the skillet. Reduce the flame to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very dark. Add brown sugar and cook 2 minutes more, stirring. Add the reserved chick peas and all but last 2 ingredients, and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium low and cook 2 hours.
Cream the soup in batches with an immersion blender. Add the ground pepper, and adjust seasonings and texture.
Top each serving with a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds, if desired.
This is embarrassing: this low-tech cook can’t retrace the source for this beautiful picture, which I found online. Anyone recognizes it as his/hand handiwork, please share so I can include proper credit!