This soup follows on the North American way of roasting root vegetables during the colder months to intensify their flavors and to bring out the natural sweetness. I’ve been calling Canada home in excess of 20 years, so it’s only natural that I use this technique, but with a Caribbean twist. You’ll see me add some richness with coconut milk and the Caribbean sunshine (scotch bonnet peppers) will make an appearance.
Unlike the heavy soups laden with ground provisions we are accustomed to in the Caribbean, this soup will be much lighter, but very filling and quite comforting.
1 acorn squash (butternut squash works well also)
1 large sweet potato
3 cups veg stock
1 large shallot
4 cloves of garlic (with skin)
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup coconut milk
Note: you can also add your fav herbs and top with freshly grated nutmeg and chopped chives.
Cut the sweet potato, squash and shallot in half. Then using a spoon, scoop out the inside of the squash and discard. Now brush each (cut side) with the olive oil and place then cut side facing down on your roasting tray, along with the garlic (skin on). Place the tray in a 375F heated oven for about 35-40 minutes.
In the meantime you can dice the scotch bonnet pepper, very finely. Remember to wear gloves when handling such hot peppers and do wash your hands with soap and water before touching anywhere. Don’t use any of the seeds or white membrane directly surrounding the seeds as that’s where the raw heat will be.
Allow the roasted vegetable to cool a bit so we can easily handle them, then using a spoon, scoop out all the flesh and place into your soup pot. Remember to remove the skins from the garlic and shallots and place them in the pot as well.
Basically all the other ingredients listed above goes into the pot at this point. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes (remember to stir every 4-5 minutes) it’s time to puree a bit and make smooth. I used my submersion blender and went at it for about 1 minute. I ended up with a smooth and silky soup. Do taste for salt and adjust accordingly. If you don’t have a submersion blender you can (make sure to allow it to cool a bit first) use a traditional blender to puree it. You can then place back in the pot and reheat a bit since we had to cool it down so it’s safe to work with in the blender.
Top with chopped chives and make sure you have some good bread to enjoy this lovely roasted vegetarian soup. There will be enough here for about 6 people as a side dish or starter and 4 people as a complete meal with toasted bread.