This Spicy Butternut Squash Soup was inspired by what I think is one of the most beautiful cookbooks in my collection. I put my own spin on it for this month’s Recipe Redux theme: Grab a Book and Cook!
This beauty has been in my collection for a couple of years now, and if nothing else it’s motivated us to expand our culinary tastes to discover new flavors and ingredients. Einat Admony is a chef and restauranteur based in New York City and that instantly makes me want to tag along with whoever is going there next – dying to try some of these recipes straight from the source!
In the meantime, my home cooking skills will have to suffice and whenever the Wagstreet household feels a little adventurous, this is one of the places we start. This cookbook is a combo of Middle East-meets-Mediterranean and includes some drop dead gorgeous shots to capture the vibrant flavors and the stories behind the dishes.
I don’t know about you but I’m not too into the cookbooks with no pictures. Like wait, what? Show. Me. The food! I also like getting to know the chef a little more too, because food tells such a powerful story. And this author weaves in plenty of background without becoming distracting. The food really speaks for itself.
By the way, I learned that “Balaboosta” is Yiddish for “perfect housewife.” Is there a word for “imperfect female who occasionally does housewife-y things but usually not and still tries hard”? Because that would be me.
Meh. Close enough.
When the December Recipe ReDux theme came out, I instantly knew I wanted to recreate something from Balaboosta. I found my inspiration on page 162 (a combo of the numbers 2-0-1-6) with the Butternut Squash & Saffron Soup. After tweaking it a little to put my own spin on it, I ended up with a creamy, oh-so-satisfying cold weather soup loaded with both flavor and nutrition!
My favorite way to eat butternut squash is with a little bit of sweetness mixed with spice. The heat in this dish comes from crushed red pepper and Chinese five spice powder. If you haven’t cooked with it before, it’s a blend of (you guessed it) five spices: star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, and fennel. Major yum factor when mixed with turmeric, roasted garlic, and fresh rosemary.
I can’t get over the color of this soup. Such a sucker for that bright color when the seasons change, it’s been absolutely FREEZING here and dreary and grey and ugh. I’m willing to ignore the perpetual stain on all my food storage containers if it means I can pack this for lunches and heat up leftovers anytime. Also, *highly* recommend the warm pita or naan to go along with it. My carb-loving self just couldn’t do without.
How do you find inspiration for new dishes in the kitchen? Do you stick to the recipe or go hog-wild to make it your own? Leave a comment below and stay warm out there!
Spicy Butternut Squash Soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Yield: 5 servings
1 medium yellow onion
1 Tablespoon olive oil
8 garlic cloves, peeled
1 butternut squash
3 large carrots
3 1/2 cups veggie stock
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
1 Tablespoon turmeric
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 containers Pumpkin Spice siggi’s 0% skyr
Dash of za’atar seasoning (optional)
Peel and de-seed the butternut squash. Thoroughly wash and peel the carrots, then chop the squash and carrots into 1/2″ to 1″ pieces.
Roughly chop or dice the onion and add to a large stock pot over medium to medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and cook 5-7 minutes or until the onions are caramelized and the edges begin to brown. Add the garlic cloves and cook for one minute more.
Add the stock, butternut squash, carrots, salt, pepper, rosemary, turmeric, Chinese five-spice powder, and crushed red pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the veggies are fully cooked.
Remove from heat and use an immersion blender, countertop blender, or food processor to puree the soup to a creamy and smooth consistency. Add 1 container of skyr to the soup and blend for a few seconds more to combine. Serve with a dollop of skyr and additional spices, such as za’atar or Chinese five-spice powder, or whole grain pita or naan if desired.
Use homemade or no-salt-added/low sodium stock whenever possible to reduce sodium content.
If no white pepper available, black pepper may be substituted and adjusted for taste preference.
Other Greek yogurt may be substituted for siggi’s if desired.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the recipes in the collection. Click below to see more inspired dishes from the only online cooking community founded by registered dietitians!