Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

In this edition of “Things I find at Trader Joe’s” we will be visiting the land of mega-hot-spicy.

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For some palates spicy is no fun, but I recently grabbed a jar of harissa paste and have been searching out ways to add the heat (within reason) in my meals. Harissa paste is essentially a jar of chili paste with some extra spices so a little goes A LONG way.

I don’t know if any of you are like this, but I LOVE when I can “finish” a condiment. I get some weird sense of satisfaction when the jar of mayo runs out or when I finally get through that whole bottle of dijon mustard. I’ve heard it said that some people love the feeling of breaking open a new product and other’s get more enjoyment out of finishing the last bit of something. I’m the latter for sure.

So this harissa paste, it’s not getting finished anytime soon, but I’m pretty hell-bent on finding a way there.

In this spicy twist on a classic butternut squash soup, I get to do two things:

  1. satisfy my love for autumnal squash
  2. make progress towards finishing the harissa.

It’s a win-win.

For the spicy averse this soup is just as tasty without the paste so feel free to omit and enjoy heat-free!

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Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

2 lbs. butternut squash, roasted or steamed
3 c. vegetable broth (or bone broth for more healing properties)
1 c. full fat coconut milk (from can)
1/2 onion, chopped small
1-2 carrots, chopped small
1 inch ginger, rough mince
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp. cumin
pinch coriander
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. Trader Joe’s Harissa paste (start small and add to taste, like I said. It goes a long way.)

  1. In a soup pot or dutch oven, add a tablespoon of avocado or olive oil. Heat to medium.
  2. Add onion and carrot. Season with a bit of salt and stir occasionally until onion is fragrant.
  3. Add garlic and ginger, stirring frequently until garlic is fragrant.
  4. Add squash, broth and coconut oil. Season with a bit more salt and pepper. Heat until steaming and then lower heat.
  5. Add cumin and coriander.
  6. Simmer until carrots are tender.
  7. Using an immersion blender, blend soup well and stir in harissa paste.
  8. Garnish with cilantro and a bit of coconut milk.

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