December 29 2021 – Holly Ong
I learnt that in the US, pumpkins are the round large orange ones that are associated with halloween while everything else is called a squash. We interchangeably use squash and pumpkin. I do love a good butternut pumpkin/ squash soup. This one is super easy to make and so full of flavor. And we love not wasting any bit of delicious pumpkin / squash with the snack crunch you can make easily from the squash seeds.
Makes: 4 or 5 main dish servings (1½ cups each) or up to 9 first-course servings (¾ cup each)
For the Soup:
One 2½ to 3-pound butternut squash
¼ cup olive oil
4 medium shallots (about 8oz), diced
4 garlic cloves, minced or grated
1½” piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced or grated
2 tablespoons Sibeiho OMG! Sambal
1 teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt (2 teaspoons Diamond kosher salt)
½ teaspoon white pepper
4 cups low-sodium or unsalted chicken stock
For the Pumpkin Seeds:
½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons Sibeiho OMG! Sambal
1 teaspoon maple syrup
Fresh cilantro leaves
- Preheat the oven to 325℉. Line a sheet pan or half-size sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Prep the squash. Cut off the stem and ¼-inch from the opposite end of the squash. Cut the squash in half widthwise where the straight neck meets the bulbous end. Use a Y-shaped vegetable peeler to peel the squash. Cut the bulbous end in half, revealing the seeds inside. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and stringy bits (if desired, save the seeds and see note below), then roughly chop the squash. Set aside.
- In a heavy pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the sambal, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, 1 minute more.
- Add the chopped butternut squash to the pot, then pour in the chicken stock. Increase the heat to high, cover the pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently with the lid slightly ajar until the squash is very tender, about 20 minutes. You should be able to easily mash a couple pieces of squash against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon.
- While the soup is simmering, toast the pumpkin seeds. In a small bowl stir together the pumpkin seeds, sambal, and maple syrup until the seeds are evenly coated. Spread out the seeds on the parchment-lined sheet pan and bake until fragrant and toasted, about 15 minutes. As the seeds cool they will become crisp.
- When the squash is tender, use a hand blender to blend the soup until very smooth (or puree the soup in batches in a regular blender).
- Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the pumpkin seeds and cilantro (and more sambal, if desired).
Note: To use the squash seeds to garnish the soup instead of pumpkin seeds, rinse them well and pick out all the stringy bits of squash flesh. Dry the seeds well between paper towels or in a clean kitchen towel, then spread out on a sheet pan. Bake at 325℉ for 10 minutes to dry the seeds. Then transfer them to a small bowl and stir in the 2 teaspoons sambal and 1 teaspoon maple syrup to coat. Return the seeds to the sheet pan and spread them out in an even layer. Bake until toasted, about 15 minutes.
Collab Credits: Megan Scott + Sibeiho