Oh boy did I need this soup. My bike commute home was wet, cold and miserable, but once I heated up this soup all became right with the world. The soup was smoky, savory and thick. Everything I needed to warm up from the cold ride. The spiced pumpkin seeds were a unique treat not normally seen on a weekday meal.
The original recipe came from the January 2009 issue of Vegetarian Times and asked for kabocha squash and pepitas. However, I wanted to use the last butternut squash I received from my vegetable deliveries. I also found some great looking pumpkin seeds at the organic market. So, I took the alternate path in making this recipe.
By the way, the first steps of the original recipe were to make the spiced seeds but I was able to make them when the soup was set to simmer.
And, finally, I’ll admit it…I accidentally used 2 Tablespoons instead of 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika in this preparation. But, you know, it actually came out really good! So, I don’t really consider it a mistake but a discovery. Yeah, that’s it.
Sherried Butternut Squash Soup with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
Adapted from Vegetarian Times, January 2009
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced (1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika (or, try it with 2 Tablespoons for a stronger flavor)
1 bay leaf
2 Tablespoons dry sherry
1 1/2 pound butternut squash (or kabocha squash), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1/2 cup pepitas or shelled pumpkin seeds
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 tsp agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if the pumpkin seeds are already salted)
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro (omitted in this preparation)
Sherried Butternut Squash Soup
Heat oil in large pot over medium high heat. Add onion, saute 5 to 7 minutes, then stir in garlic, smoked paprika, and bay leaf. Cook 1 minute more. (Note the 2 Tablespoons rather than 2 teaspoons of paprika I was supposed to put in…whoops!)
Add sherry, and cook 2 minutes. Add squash, vegetable broth, and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer, cover, and reduce heat to mdium-low. Cook 25 minutes, or until squash is tender. (Note: While it’s simmering move on to making the spiced pumpkin seeds – recipe below.)
Remove bay leaf, and puree soup in food processor or blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Served sprinkled with spiced seeds.
Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (Note: I used my toaster oven.) Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss together pumpkin seeds (or pepitas), olive oil, agave nectar, paprika, and salt in small bowl.
Spread on prepared baking sheet, and bake 10 to 12 minutes turning occaisionally. (Note: Keep an eye on these guys because they’ll go from being nice and toasty to burned in 2 seconds flat.) Break pumpkin seeds apart, and toss with cilantro (if using).