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February 6, 2009

Cat Cora's Roasted Winter Squash and Saffron Soup

Cat Cora's squash soup is warm and well spiced, and the croutons add satisfying crunch.

Cat Cora

squash and saffron soup by Cat Cora

Michelle Riley/HSUS

Serves 8

Soup

2 medium butternut squash, halved and seeded (or 8 cups, chopped)

3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
5-6 cups of vegetable stock
3 teaspoons olive oil
Generous pinch of saffron threads
1/4 cup hot water
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground or grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup plain soy yogurt or soy sour cream
2 teaspoons harissa
Finely chopped chives 

Croutons

French baguette, cut into 1/4-inch slices
Olive oil
Smoked paprika
1/4 cup toasted marcona almonds, coarsely chopped

 

Soup

Preheat the oven to 450 F (220 C). Place the squash in a baking dish cut side up and brush the cut side of each with 3 tablespoons olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, cover with aluminum foil and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for 15 to 20 minutes, or until fork tender.

Remove the roasted squash halves from the oven and scoop out the pulp. Place the pulp in a large saucepan with the vegetable stock and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Transfer in batches to a blender, puree until smooth, and strain through a chinois into a medium saucepan. Heat the 3 teaspoons olive oil in a small saute pan, add the saffron and saute for 30 seconds.

Add the 1/4 cup hot water, bring just to a boil and then remove from heat.

Add the saffron mixture to the soup, season with the spices and cook for 10 minutes, adding more stock or water if necessary. Remove from heat and whisk in the soy yogurt or sour cream and harissa. Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and float a few croutons on top. Garnish with finely sliced chives.

Croutons

Preheat the oven to 325 F (163 C). Brush bread slices with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika on one side. Bake in the oven on a baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes or lightly golden brown.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped toasted marcona almonds.

Cut into squares and serve with soup.

Recipe courtesy of Cat Cora, first female Iron Chef America.

For even more vegetarian recipes, check out VegRecipes.org.

Nutrition

All figures are per serving (assumes eight servings).

Calories: 180
Fat: 3 g
Sodium: 582 mg
Carbs: 34 g
Fiber: 3 g
Protein: 5 g

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