Silky Roasted Squash and Bell Pepper Potage

Believe it or not, I got the inspiration for that beautiful soup when I was in Cuba, of all places.

We were served something very similar one night, as part of one of our “À la carte” dining experiences.

I wanted to take pictures to share with you guys, but sadly it was night and the lighting was very dim, as in close to non-existent, which left me with no other option than taking “flash” pictures.

No way I was going to serve you that, so I abstained!

Anyway, back to that soup… It was without a doubt one of the best things that I’d ever eaten at that hotel.

It was simply divine. So tasty and creamy and silky and smooth… it felt like a gentle caress inside my mouth with every spoonful. I just knew the instant I took the first bite that I would have to try and recreate it as soon as I got home.

Roasted Squash and Bell Pepper Potage | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

And that’s exactly what I did! I think I succeeded at creating something that’s fairly close to the real deal.

To be honest, though, I have no idea what went in the making of the original. I had to go by flavor alone and trust my taste buds on that one.

My one and only absolute certainty was that it contained a hint of cumin. And I strongly suspected squash to be the one key player.

Calabaza, I believe is what they call it… 

Roasted Squash and Bell Pepper Potage | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Unfortunately, mi español is nowhere good enough for me to have gone and asked the chef …

I did go and thank him personally though. He seemed to appreciate the initiative, for he took the time to make cute little flowers out of napkins for my daughter and I, which he then had the waiter bring to us.

How sweet is that? Of course, I had to hold on to it.

Roasted Squash and Bell Pepper Potage | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Can you spot it in the pictures?

I have to give it to you, this is not a soup that you can whip up quickly on a busy weeknight. It belongs to the “food of love” category. It’s the kind that you make on a lazy and cold Saturday afternoon.

Roasted Squash and Bell Pepper Potage | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

But trust me, it’s very well worth every minute of effort that you will put into it.

It will not only warm your body, it will warm your soul.

It might even take you to some far, far away island, where the sun always shines and the ocean is bluer than the sky…

Silky Roasted Squash and Bell Pepper Potage

Yield: Serves 4

Nutritional Information based on 1 serving

Silky Roasted Squash and Bell Pepper Potage

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 acorn squash
  • 1 of each bell pepper: yellow, orange and red
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • About ¼ tsp salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 large onion
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ cup coconut cream (the canned variety)
  • ½ cup fat free plain Greek Yogurt
  • Garnish Ideas*
  • Whole Grain Croutons
  • Coconut Cream
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Roasted Garlic

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F
  2. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Cut the bell peppers in half and remove the core, membranes and seeds. Peel the garlic cloves but keep them whole.
  3. Sprinkle a tiny little bit of salt and pepper over the open side of the squash and bell peppers and place them all face down in a large baking dish.
  4. Add garlic cloves and water and place in the oven. Cook uncovered for about 30 minutes, until the squash and peppers are fork tender and the garlic turns nice and golden brown.
  5. Remove vegetables from the oven and let them cool for little while.
  6. Meanwhile, chop the onion and add it to a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat until fragrant and slightly brown, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper and continue cooking for about one minute.
  8. Remove as much skin as you can from the bell peppers, chop them coarsely and add them to the pot. Scoop out the flesh of the roasted squash and add that to the pot as well.
  9. Throw in the garlic and water, bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  10. Remove from heat and reduce to a smooth puree with the help of a handheld blender.
  11. Pass soup through a fine mesh strainer. You might want to help it through by swirling it around with a laddle (this step is optional but will make your soup extra creamy and velvety, so I think it's really worth it. It does change the texture dramatically.)
  12. Return soup to saucepan and bring back to a simmer, then kill the heat.
  13. In a small bowl, mix the coconut cream and Greek yogurt together and incorporate that to the soup using your handheld blender (using the blender as opposed to a simple whisk will prevent the yogurt from curdling and will make your soup really silky.)
  14. Transfer to serving bowls and garnish as desired.

Notes

*I made my whole grain croutons simply by cutting thick slices of whole grain bread into cubes and toasting them slightly in a non stick pan.

I also roasted a few extra cloves of garlic to use as garnish and mixed a couple of tablespoons of Greek yogurt and coconut cream together, which I then placed in a small squeeze bottle to make a pretty design.

http://thehealthyfoodie.com/silky-roasted-squash-and-bell-pepper-potage/

Roasted Squash and Bell Pepper Potage | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Roasted Squash and Bell Pepper Potage | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Roasted Squash and Bell Pepper Potage | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Roasted Squash and Bell Pepper Potage | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Roasted Squash and Bell Pepper Potage | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Roasted Squash and Bell Pepper Potage | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

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Comments

  1. says

    First: I totally know what you mean when you said you don’t want to share pictures with flash :) It’s just not worth it!

    Second: Freakin’ gorgeous pictures!

    And last: I am so excited to make this soup- it has so many things I love, and I just got an immersion blender so I’m all prepared! :)

  2. Maria says

    À chaque fois que je te lis, je suis fortement impressionnée. Je t’aime et je t’admire beaucoup!
    Maman XXX

  3. says

    I confess I had no idea what potage meant and that’s half the reason I continued reading – the other half being my love of all things containing butternut squash :) This is one gorgeous soup and I especially love the garnish of roasted garlic.

    • says

      LOL, Cara, that’s funny! I hesitated between potage and velouté, which are two fancy French words to describe creamy soups. I find the English vocabulary lacks a little bit when it comes to naming soups. Or maybe it’s just MY vocabulary that lacks… maybe the words exist and I don’t know them. Anyhow, glad the term piqued your curiosity and had your read further. And if you like anything butternut squash, you’ll be in for a treat. I get the feeling that it will be my “buzz” ingredient of the month! ;)

  4. says

    Is a potage the term used for a thick soup? In New Zealand I always associated soup with pureed pumpkin (or what you call squash) or potato or tomatoes etc, always thick and spiced. But In North America I have found soups to be more like a liquid stock with veggies like corn and beans in it. So I gather a potage therefore must be the thick, pureed sort. That’s my favorite anyway, and this looks much like the soups I grew up with! LOVE the sound of coconut cream and yogurt added at the end. Absolutely a wet-cold-Saturday-in-the-kitchen type of dish!

    • says

      Quite right, Christina. What is referred to as “soup” here would be broth with various kinds of chunks, bits and morsels in it. The creamy, pureed type is usually called “cream”. So I guess I could’ve called this one a cream. But I much preferred the word “potage”, which is a bit of a fancy French term to designate a thick and creamy soup. I thought it suited this one well! Glad this one is right up your alley, and you so said it: wet-cold-Saturday-in-the-kitchen type of dish. That’s EXACTLY what it is! :)

  5. CJune says

    I want to make this soup but am not understanding one of the steps. You say to put the squash, peppers and garlic in a large baking dish, add water and bake until the garlic is golden brown. I am just not sure how the garlic and the other vegs will turn brown if you are roasting them in water. It would seem more like they would be just boiled. Could you clarify this step for me so that I can try this soup. I bought some lovely squashes a couple of weeks ago and this would be a great way to use them.

  6. says

    I haven’t made squash soup yet this year. I happen to have a whole bunch of peppers to be used though… I will have to try out this recipe. Your photos are mouthwatering with the croutons on top.

  7. says

    That is one very cute looking little flower the chef made for you guys. And it sure must mean he liked your going to him. I wouldn’t have thought pumpkin or squash was even used in Cuba. Don’t know why I thought that really but that’s just my thought. Love the soup though. Sounds delicious!

    • says

      I was very surprised too, Simone. For some reason, it seems to me that squash and tropical temperatures just don’t go hand in hand, but apparently they do! Squash has been served there on an almost daily basis. And it was steamed most of the time, too! Need I tell you I was not one to complain? ;)

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