This vibrant soup is full of comforting fall flavours: caramel notes from roasted squash, delicate spiciness of ginger, and the nutty flavours of toasted chickpeas. Pan-toasting chickpeas is really the secret that makes this soup taste so great; I sprinkle chickpeas with a little bit of curry powder while they are toasting to add another flavour dimension.
Recipe: Roasted Butternut Squash, Ginger, and Toasted Chickpeas Soup
- 500 g beef or chicken, for stock, or 2 L prepared beef stock
- 3-4 medium potatoes
- 1 butternut squash
- olive oil
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- sunflower oil or vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 in/2.5 cm long ginger root
- 1 can of chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), or 1 cup dried chickpeas.
- curry powder
If using dried chickpeas instead of canned, soak 1 cup of chickpeas in 2 quarts (2L) of water overnight. Chickpeas take up a lot of water when they are rehydrating, so it’s important to use a sufficient amount of water for soaking. The next day, replace soaking water with fresh water and boil chickpeas for ~1 hour until they are soft.
If you have a pressure cooker, you can easily prepare chickpeas without soaking. Just add 1 cup of chickpeas to 2L of water and boil for 1 hour.
Make stock. I always make my own stock with lean chicken or beef, and leave the meat in the soup. If you prefer, use prepared store-bought stock. To make stock, add chicken or beef, salt, and 1-2 bay leaves to 2L of water in a large pot. Bring to boil; simmer for 45 minutes skimming off foam periodically. Remove meat from soup, cut into pieces, and return to the soup.
Meanwhile, roast butternut squash. Preheat the oven to 425F / 220C. Cut squash lengthwise and remove seeds and stringy pulp. Brush cut sides with olive oil, place on a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Once stock is ready, peel and cube potatoes and add to the soup.
While potatoes are cooking, dice the onion into small cubes. Peel and grate the carrot. Add a little vegetable oil to the frying pan (just enough to thinly coat the bottom) and fry onions and carrots until onions just start to turn golden.
Meanwhile, peel ginger root and grate with a fine grater. Add ginger to the frying pan when onions start to turn golden, and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the carrot-onion mixture to the soup. While transferring, try to leave as much oil in the frying pan as possible.
Drain cooked or canned chickpeas and add them to the same frying pan that held the onion-carrot mixture. If necessary, add a little bit more oil. Toast chickpeas, stirring periodically, for about 10 minutes. They should have brown spots. Sprinkle with a little bit of curry powder and toast, stirring, for another minute.
Add chickpeas to the soup, turn off the heat, and enjoy!