Crema de Calabaza
It wasn’t until I graduated and made an very short, ill-advised move to Illinois with my now-ex-boyfriend that cooking became less about sustenance and more about having fun and trying new things. We’d tune in the Food Network to watch Good Eats (Alton Brown is, I am sure you all agree, just THE GREATEST). I remember I once had a hankering for buffalo wings, but rather than go to a bar, I bought a huge pack of chicken wings, disjointed them, slathered them with sauce, and broiled them. That was delicious. Anyway, food was one of the things we had in common, and we still talk about knives, techniques, and recipes. He attends a weekly potluck and liked this soup so much that he sent me the recipe with the note: “this soup is HIGHLY delicious.”
I finally got around to making this soup last week, and invited him ’round to sample a bowl and take some home with him since he was in town. What, you mean you don’t invite YOUR exes to dinner? Whatevs.
This is a really good winter warming soup, with a little bit of cream and chorizo to make it hearty and a chipotle pepper to make it spicy. It is HIGHLY delicious indeed.
Crema de Calabaza
Prep time: 5-10 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes + 25 minutes
- 2.5 lbs/ 1 kg winter squash – I used 1.5 butternut squashes
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 -2 chipotles en adobo – I used 1.5 for medium heat
- 1/2 cup cream
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 Tablespoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas/garbanzo beans – I used canned
- 1/4 lb chorizo – apparently the original used soy-rizo so this can be a vegetarian dish!
- Preheat oven to 500F/260C.
- Cut the squash in half length-wise, and scoop out the seeds. As Maz said, “It’s a nasty bitch of a squash,” so please do not hurt yourself trying to slice it open. Here is a good primer on cutting butternut squash.
- Place the squashes cut side down in a baking dish, and fill about 1/4 the way up with water. Roast in bottom third of oven until soft (about 30 minutes). Let it cool a little, then scoop out the flesh.
- While the squash is roasting, brown the chorizo.
- Toast the 4 unskinned garlic cloves in a dry skillet on all sides until slightly charred. Peel and discard the skins.
- Puree the squash, garlic, and chipotle pepper with 1/2 cup of the water in a food processor until smooth.
- Put the puree into a put with the rest of the water, cream, spices, and sugar. Simmer for a few minutes, then add the chorizo and chickpeas. Simmer for another 20 minutes.
It’s a lot better than the picture suggests.