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Roasted Hubbard Squash Soup with Hazelnuts & Chives

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Serves eight to ten.

Yields about 10 cups.

  • To learn more, read:
    Squash Season
  • by Ivy Manning from Fine Cooking
    Issue 95

If you can’t find Espelette pepper, use just a pinch of cayenne instead. The soup keeps for 3 days in the refrigerator or 2 months in the freezer.

  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 Tbs. coriander seeds
  • 1-1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1-1/2 tsp. dried sage
  • 1 small (5-1/2- to 6-lb.) Hubbard squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 large leek (white and light-green parts only), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into small dice
  • Kosher salt
  • 5 cups lower-salt chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and chopped
  • 2 Tbs. thinly sliced chives
  • Several small pinches Espelette pepper or cayenne
Tip:

Need a little help working with such a big, unwieldy squash? Check out our test kitchen tips for handling Hubbards.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400ºF. Line a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with parchment.

In a mortar and pestle, pound the oil, garlic, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, and sage until they resemble a coarse paste. Rub the spice mixture on the flesh of the squash halves. Set them cut side down on the prepared pan and roast until tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. Let cool, cut side up. When cool enough to handle, scrape the flesh away from the rind—you’ll need about 5 cups.

Melt the butter in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leek, carrots, and a big pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leek is softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the squash, broth, bay leaf, and 1 tsp. salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes to develop the soup’s flavor.

Remove the bay leaf and allow the soup to cool slightly. Purée the soup in batches in a blender. Return the soup to the pot and add the lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with the chopped hazelnuts, chives, and Espelette pepper or cayenne.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 240; Fat (g): 13; Fat Calories (kcal): 110; Saturated Fat (g): 3; Protein (g): 9; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7; Carbohydrates (g): 29; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 180; Cholesterol (mg): 5; Fiber (g): 7;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I did not want to waste all the beautiful pumpkins, squashes, and gourds that were part of the autumn display on my front porch this year, so I plucked out the Hubbard squash and made this soup. It is absolutely lovely! Even my husband, who is not a fan of squash, gave it a thumbs up—and that was just a taste. I am going to freeze the rest and present it as a first course for my Christmas dinner. I can only imagine how wonderful it will be with the toasted hazelnuts, chives, and spice.

I found this recipe while trying to decide how to prepare the rather large Hubbard squash I bought at a farm market. My husband and I loved not only making this soup, but also eating it! The heartiness of the soup was perfect for a weekend fall supper.

The soup is my new favorite. I had already cooked the squash (punch holes, throw into 350 oven for a couple of hours, let cool), so I "roasted" the fennel and coriander in the olive oil, then added the garlic and sage and continued with the recipe.

This was absolutely delicious. After roasting the squash for a bit in the oven its was easy to handle. The soup had a hardy taste which was just a touch spicy...I omitted the hazelnuts, but can see where they would be delicious too. This is one for the fall repertoire.

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