Kabocha Squash Soup with Harissa and Orange (+ Harissa Roasted Chickpeas)

Kabocha Squash Soup with Harissa and Orange | www.80twenty.caKabocha Squash Soup with Harissa and Orange | www.80twenty.caKabocha Squash Soup with Harissa and Orange | www.80twenty.ca

Did I ever tell you about the time I was in my office trying to listen to how my office voicemail recording sounded? I was sitting at my desk and I called my office line from my cell phone. Upon hearing my office phone ring, and being the dituful employee that I am, I promptly hung up my cell and answered my office phone. No one was there, obviously.  After a big laugh with my colleague about the ridiculousness of the situation, I went back to the original task of trying to listen to my voicemail recording. (Do you know where this is going?) I heard the phone ringing, hung up my cell, and answered my office line. Again. This is a true story.

I was reminded of this because I’m having one of those weeks right now, except it’s more like a wtf, how could THIS also be happening situation (like my car breaking down, seriously breaking down) near a creepy isolated power plant, in the rain, where there was nobody around but me (and later a random creepy dude on a bike who appeared from behind a fence), and it was halloween, and my cell battery was dying, etc. I actually thought that might get murdered that night. That’s kind of how my week has been: a mix of ridiculous and awful things. Thankfully there’s always humour. And not getting murdered. And this kabocha squash soup with harissa and orange.

This is a version of the soup recipe I entered into a contest last year at school. I ended up being a finalist in the contest and had to compete master chef-style against 4 other contestants in front of an audience and be judged on all kinds of things, including my knife skills. (For the record, I used a clever to cut into my squash because I have weak, wimpy wrists and ended up losing marks for that one.) And I didn’t win the contest. But, hey! A gluten-free and vegan soup made the finals at culinary school that’s rooted in classical Frensh tradition! That was a win enough for me. This soup really is a winner, in my house a least. It’s vibrantly coloured, deeply flavourful, with a subtle heat that comes in a little later, and it’s silky and creamy without having any cream or cream-like substance added to it. It’s also super quick to make because I had to make it in a short amount of time for the contest. Kabocha squash has a lovely sweet taste that is really complimented by the addition of tangy citrus and spicy harissa. And the chickpeas are just a bonus. Topping the soup with them gives the soup a little more sustenance as a meal, some heat that really pulls things together, and it makes it look a little prettier. But you can skip the soup entirely and just make these spicy chickpeas to munch on if you’re also having one of those weeks.  I hope, for your sake, that your week has been better than mine. If you think you have some good ju ju to spare, please send it my way!

Also, because food always makes me happy, here are a few of my favourite eats from around the net recently:

The baked potato of my dreams.

These crème fraîche caramels.

This oatmeal. You know I love oatmeal.

These bars, which are like a candy bar, but good for you!

Roasted red kuri with lots of other good stuff.

These scones!!! I would eat them every day if I could.

This ice cream. And this ice cream.

These pistachio butter cups. Insane, right?

Another way to eat spaghetti squash.

This wild mushroom risotto.

A salad I could eat every day.

More squash! But this time in crostini form.

Until next time, friends. xo

Kabocha Squash Soup with Harissa and Orange | www.80twenty.caKabocha Squash Soup with Harissa and Orange | www.80twenty.caKabocha Squash Soup with Harissa and Orange | www.80twenty.ca 

Kabocha Squash Soup with Harissa and Orange + Harissa Roasted Chickpeas
Author: 
Recipe type: Gluten-free, Vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • Kabocha Squash Soup
  • 2 tbsp grape seed oil, divided
  • A 2.5 -3 lb Kabocha squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch pieces (about 4 cups total)
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp harissa paste
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • Zest and juice of half a small navel orange (you may want more juice)
  • ½ tsp salt, plus more salt and pepper, to taste
  • Harissa Roasted Chickpeas
  • 1 can chickpeas (or 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas), rinsed and drained well
  • 1 tbsp grape seed oil
  • 1 tsp - 1 tbsp harissa paste, depending how hot you like it (1 tablespoon will make them quite hot, in my opinion, but when paired with the soup, the chickpeas mellow out and it creates a nice balance.)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. Dry the chickpeas by placing them on several layers of paper towel. Top with a few more layers and gently rub to help absorb most of the moisture. Place the chickpeas on one of the baking trays and toss with grape seed oil. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove the chickpeas from the oven and toss with the harissa (use spoons so you don't burn your hands). Place the chickpeas back into the oven for another 10-12 minutes, or until the chickpeas are golden and the harissa paste has form a crust. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt. Set aside to cool.
  3. At the same time, toss the kabocha squash with one tablespoon of grape seed oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Evenly distribute the squash on a baking tray and roast in the oven until almost tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Heat the other tablespoon of grape seed oil in a large pot over medium low heat and sweat the onions until soft. Add in the garlic and harissa paste and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes to cook out the paste. Add in the cooked squash and vegetable stock and stir.
  5. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium to simmer until the squash is completely tender and the flavours have had a chance to amalgamate.
  6. Add the orange zest and puree the soup in a high speed blender or food processor. For extra silky soup, you can strain it through a fine mesh strainer, but I like the added backbone and texture of leaving it as is. Plus, if you have a good blender, your soup will get incredibly silky anyway.
  7. Pour the soup back into a large pot, add in the juice and salt and stir to combine. Bring the the soup to a gentle simmer and serve topped with harissa roasted chickpeas.
  8. Other toppings include: freshly cut chives, yogurt, olive oil, etc.

 

25 Comments

  • KRIS!! You are killin’ it with your photos lately. I really love, love, love this.

    xo

    • Reply November 10, 2014

      Kris

      Oh my gosh, you are the sweetest. I find this compliment especially flattering coming from you. Thank you, Sherrie!! xo

  • Reply November 7, 2014

    Ashley

    These photos!!! Gahhh. The colors are stupendous (underused, amazing word). If I had a clever in the kitchen I would definitely hack open squash with it. I mean, duh, that seems perfect. So sorry to hear about your crazy week. That is intense and I would have freaked out and panicked and I don’t even know…scary! Glad you’re okay!! I need to get harissa paste. This soup is going to be made.

    • Reply November 10, 2014

      Kris

      That is an amazing word and I’m honoured that you use it on me. :) And about the clever, right?!?! I hope you make the soup and love it. :)

  • Reply November 7, 2014

    Ashley

    p.s. thanks for the link love!!! <3

  • Reply November 7, 2014

    Kelly

    Oh LORD this soup looks incredible! I want all of it right now. Thank you for the scone love, too lady. xxoo

    • Reply November 10, 2014

      Kris

      I love me some scones, and yours always look the BEST!

  • Reply November 7, 2014

    Em | the pig & quill

    This is too, too beautiful, Kris — and I love anything with harissa these days. We just can’t get enough of it! Can’t wait to give this a go. :)

  • Reply November 7, 2014

    Brittany

    I’ve never thought to make soup with kabocha squash. I guess because I usually just roast it and eat the whole pan because it’s so good on it’s own, but heck this soup looks amazing. Gotta try it!

    • Reply November 10, 2014

      Kris

      It IS so good on it’s own. It doesn’t really need much. It’s so sweet and creamy that I sometimes eat it with nut butter, or butter and cinnamon for dessert.

  • Reply November 9, 2014

    Alanna

    Yikes, you’ve had a heck of a week – I’m so glad you’re alright! This soup looks incredibly comforting, kicky and bright at the same time. I hope to make it soon soon soon. Absolutely stunning photos!

    • Reply November 10, 2014

      Kris

      Thanks, Alanna! You’re so sweet. And I love your summary of the soup. :)

  • This soup is just gorgeous, Kris and I was totally laughing while reading this and picturing you with the voicemail thing. ;)

    • Reply November 10, 2014

      Kris

      The worst part is that it’s totally true that I did it TWICE! haha Thanks for your lovely compliment, Gina. :)

  • Reply November 9, 2014

    Isabelle @ Crumb

    That office voicemail story sounds exactly like something I’d do. In fact, I’ve basically done the same thing, only I was testing to make sure my office phone was forwarded to my cell. (It was. My cell phone beeped to let me know there was an incoming call, so I hung up to take the incoming call. Which was me. Thus hanging up on myself. How recursive is that?)
    Anyway, this soup sounds like a lovely way to celebrate surviving the night that your car broke down in a weird isolated place. :P I especially love the sound of those harrissa chickpeas. That’s my kinda legume.

    • Reply November 10, 2014

      Kris

      Sooo funny, Isabelle! I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one. :) And yes, I’m glad to be home and safe after that car breakdown. It was *ultra* creepy. I hope you like the chickpeas.

  • Reply November 10, 2014

    Brian @ A Thought For Food

    I can smell this soup… it just jumps off the screen. Gorgeous, comforting. A recipe I’d enjoy eating every night from now until March.

  • Reply November 11, 2014

    Emilie @ The Clever Carrot

    OMG. I died reading this. Glad to hear you survived!!! Because then, I wouldn’t get to FEAST MY EYES on this soup. Those colors! Those chickpeas! Absolutely delicious, Kris. And thanks for the shout out too! xx

    • Reply November 12, 2014

      Kris

      It was a craaaazy experience, Emilie. And all true! You’re a sweetheart. Thanks for your lovely remarks! :)

  • […] Kabocha Squash with Orange + Harissa Roasted Chickpeas by, 80 Twenty {GF, DF, V} […]

  • Reply November 18, 2014

    tara

    Lady, have I told you that you’re killing it lately? Because you totally are. Also, this weather is asking for this soup. xo

    • Reply November 18, 2014

      Kris

      Thank you, Tara! That means a lot coming from you. I feel like I’m in a good groove these days. :)

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