Pumpkin Tahini Soup

As late summer moves into fall, we are lucky to have a wide array of beautiful squash available in stores and at the local farmer’s market. Using vegetable stock instead of chicken is a simple substitution. The tahini and Marrakesh Sitar Moroccan Blend give a new twist to the predictable “butternut squash and nutmeg” combo we’re so accustomed to. Get that fire going, grab a hunk of crusty bread and sweet butter, and we’ll see you around Christmas.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: ~ 1 hour

Serves: 4

Equipment:

Sheet pan, Large heavy-bottomed pot, Wooden spoon

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-large pumpkin or butternut squash, about 2–3 lb, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Marrakesh Sitar Moroccan Blend
  • 3 Tbsp tahini
  • 1 qt chicken or vegetable stock
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • Toasted Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) to garnish
  • Sesame seeds to garnish
  • Lemon zest to garnish
  • Yogurt or fresh ricotta to garnish

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 425℉, move the oven rack to the center
  2. Toss pumpkin with olive oil salt and pepper and roast for about 20 minutes or until soft and caramelized.
  3. Meanwhile, in a heavy-bottomed pot, add butter and melt over medium heat.
  4. Add onions and sweat until beginning to caramelize, about 10–15 minutes.
  5. Lower the heat and add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant about 2–3 minutes.
  6. Add Marrakesh Sitar followed by the stock to make sure the spices do not burn.
  7. Add pumpkin to the pot and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  8. Add tahini, and using an immersion blender, pureé the soup directly in the pot (see tips/things to remember if you would like to use a standard blender for this step)
  9. Season to taste with salt, and divide into 4 bowls.
  10. Garnish with a dollop of yogurt or fresh ricotta, a sprinkling of pepitas and sesame seeds, and a grate of lemon zest.

Things to remember

  • This recipe is easily doubled as long as you have a large enough, heavy-bottomed soup pot or dutch oven
  • An immersion blender is a great tool for pureeing hot liquids; it can be found in most department stores with a kitchen section or your favorite kitchen store
  • If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can puree in small (1–2 cup) batches in your blender (with the lid on), then transfer the puree to a bowl, and continue until all of the soup is pureed. Transfer it back into the pot and heat through
  • Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) are available in the bulk section and/or the baking section of your local grocery and come in the raw or toasted form. If you can only find raw, you can toast them yourself for 5 minutes at 350℉ — be sure to key an eye on them so they don’t burn and toss them with a little salt after they are done and allow them to cool completely
  • Ricotta adds a heartier finish to the soup, and yogurt a slight tang; experiment with a small cup on the side to decide your preference