We have all been anticipating the arrival of Paula’s new book, The Food of Morocco. When it arrived, I thumbed through the 500+ pages over a course of a few days. The photographs are stunning and the recipes, oh the recipes! I chose the Butternut Squash and Tomato Soup as my first creation. She described it as a soup “to keep both body and soul warm.” It was the most incredible squash soup I have ever tasted in my entire life. I found myself licking the spatula like it was cake batter. I was able to make use of my beautiful butternut squash from Loon Organics.
1 yellow onion coarsely chopped
1 1/2 T EVOO
2 pounds butternut, kabocha, or kalabaza squash, halved, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 1/2″ chunks (about 6 cups)
2 T tomato paste
1 t La Kama
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 pound crumbled or shredded goat cheese
1 t harissa (I used sriracha)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Toss the onion with 1 teaspoon coarse salt and the oil in your cazuela, cover and steam over medium-low heat until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes.
Add the squash, cover with a sheet of parchment paper and a lid, and steam for 20 minutes.
Add the tomato paste, spices and 4 cups hot water and bring to a boil, then cook at a simmer until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
Transfer soup in batches to a blender, and puree until smooth; add the cream, 3/4 of the cheese, and the harissa to the last batch of soup and puree until velvety.
Return soup to cazuela and season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into warm bowls and top each portion with a light sprinkling of remaining cheese. (serves 4)
Immediately after taking my first bite, I wished I had doubled the batch! Paula suggests thinning it with hot water and adjusting seasoning, if it gets too thick. I thought it reheated perfectly. I served it with homemade bread, and I think I’ll make it again next week with kobacha. We are featuring this amazing cookbook right now. It is not only an amazing cookbook, but it also makes for a lovely coffee table book. The images and stories have bumped Morocco to the top 5 on my travel bucket list. (sorry Japan) Go to Facebook, and join the Moroccan cooking group for more recipes and information.