Squash is all the rage in the autumn, but there are so many different types. This creamy soup highlights kabocha, also known as Japanese pumpkin, a squash that is typically sweeter than butternut squash with the texture of pumpkin and roasted sweet potato. All you need to do is roast it until tender, then purée it with herbs, spices, and leeks. A topping of roasted cinnamon maple chickpeas adds a layer of spicy-sweet and a crouton-like crunch.

Kabocha Leek Soup With Maple Cinnamon Chickpeas [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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Serves

4-6

Cooking Time

90

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Ingredients

For the Soup:

  • 1 red/orange kabocha squash
  • Olive oil, for roasting the squash
  • Salt and pepper, for roasting the squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 handful chopped basil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Toppings:

  • Sautéed leeks
  • Cinnamon maple chickpeas (recipe below)toasted walnuts
  • Toasted walnuts

For the Cinnamon Maple Chickpeas:

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
  • 1/2 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
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Preparation

To Make the Soup:

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Slice squash down the center with a sharp knife and scoop out seeds. Spray or rub with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put face down on a baking sheet and roast for 40-45 minutes, until tender and can pierce easily with fork.
  2. Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle. Using a large spoon, scrape out flesh into a blender or food processor and puree. You may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of your appliance. If you do not have a blender or food processor, set scooped out squash in a bowl and set aside. You can use immersion blender once the soup is cooking to purée.
  3. In a large stock pot, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat on medium. Add shallots and cook through until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic cloves and leeks and sauté until soft, about another 5-7 minutes. If desired, remove about 1/3 of leeks to set aside for topping. Add squash purée, broth, milk, herbs, and spices to the pot.
  4. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you are using the immersion blender method, now is the time to use it. For best results, allow soup to set on stove, covered, to allow flavors to settle. Top with leeks, chickpeas or toasted walnuts.

To Make the Cinnamon Maple Chickpeas:

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F. You can pop these in right after your remove your squash for the soup.
  2. Rinse beans and lay them on a clean dish or paper towel. Rub a few times with towel to dry. Allow to air dry for several minutes if you can. If any skins fall off during the drying process, discard. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, shaking baking sheet every 10 minutes.
  3. Keep an eye out during the last several minutes so that they don’t burn. Remove and allow to cool. Snack away or use for topping soup.
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