Spiked with cumin, chipotle peppers, jalapeno and epazote leaves, this Mexican butternut squash soup reflects Chef Katsuji Tanabe’s heritage. Though he is half Japanese, the Chopped champion grew up in his mother’s home country of Mexico. Although some of the ingredients may sound foreign to many, they can be readily found in many U.S. markets.
This Mexican butternut squash soup recipe and photo was shared with us by Princess House, purveyors of quality, artfully designed cookware and home entertaining products, in honor of their Share the Warmth Dinner Party campaign with the following suggestions for your next big gathering:
- Contact a local organization that helps those in need and request a list of food items needed this holiday season.
- When inviting guests, also give them the list of food items and ask them to bring a donation.
- Consider inviting a representative from the organization so they can share information about what they do and who they serve.
- Take the donated food items to the local organization, or if a representative joins the party, give the donated food items to the representative that evening.
- Repeat every year, and your Share the Warmth dinner party will soon become a holiday tradition cherished by all of your guests.
Special Diet Notes: Mexican Butternut Squash Soup
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, vegetarian, and generally top food allergy-friendly. This Mexican butternut squash soup could also be considered almost paleo since the recipe uses an unrefined sweetener, but you can swap coconut sugar and/or reduce the sweetener, if desired.
- ½ cup chopped piloncillo*
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 cups large butternut squash, cubed and peeled
- 4 whole large carrots, unpeeled
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for serving
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 chipotle pepper, chopped
- 2 quarts low-sodium vegetable stock
- ½ cup white corn kernels, washed
- ¼ cup small diced Mexican squash
- 1 large jalapeno, stemmed, thinly sliced
- 3 fresh epazote leaves (or fresh coriander leaves if epazote is not available)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), for serving
- Heat your oven to 350ºF.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the piloncillo, cumin, butternut squash and whole carrots. Toss to evenly coat and place on a large baking dish. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Allow to cool slightly, reserving about ¼ of the roasted vegetables. Cube the carrots into bite-size pieces.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in an 8-quart stockpot. Saute about half the garlic, chipotle pepper, remaining carrots and butternut squash. Add the vegetable stock, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Working in batches, transfer the cooked stock and vegetables to your blender and puree. When complete, return to the stockpot to keep warm for serving.
- Meanwhile, heat a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn, Mexican squash, jalapeno, epazote, remaining garlic and reserved butternut squash and carrots. Quickly saute to lightly char (not burn) the veggies. Keep watch and stir when needed for 3-5 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
- To serve, divide the soup among six bowls. Top the soup with the charred vegetables. Garnish with toasted pepitas and a drizzle of olive oil.