Dishing Up the Dirt

Winter Squash Soup with Tahini & Za’atar

Ever since we woke up to a thick blanket of snow at Tumbleweed Farm we’ve been eating a lot of comfort food. The weather has been so chilly that it’s hard to stay motivated and get chores done.

Even the chickens are tired of this chilly weather! They don’t wander far from their coop in the snow but thankfully they love their newly upgraded heat lamps! They’re not getting much exercise these days but at least they’re warm!

Speaking of warmth, Taylor and I are constantly craving soup on these cold nights at the farm. Thankfully, we still have a lot of winter squash that needs to get eaten and nothing warms us up on a chilly night quite like a bowl of creamy and comforting soup.

We grew over 15 varieties of winter squash this season and one of my absolute favorites was the red kuri variety. If you haven’t had the pleasure of trying a red kuri squash you absolutely must hunt some down at your local farmers market or grocery store. They have a sweet and nutty flavor unlike any other winter squash I’ve tried. We’re planning on growing a lot more of this variety next season.

If you can’t find red kuri for this recipe don’t fret. A butternut, acorn or pumpkin will work just fine. The highlight is the amazing combination of sweet winter squash with lemon-tahini and za’atar chickpea croutons (please don’t skip the croutons!) This soup is hands down one of my favorites and each spoonful is full of wonderful flavors and textures. I hope you all enjoy this as much as we do. Grab your biggest soup spoon, invite some friends over and dig in!

Winter Squash Soup with Tahini & Za'atar Chickpea Croutons

Prep Time: 15 mins.    Cook Time: 45 mins.    Serves: 4-6

For the Soup:
  • 2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil (or oil of choice)
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds red kuri squash (or winter squash of choice) peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • Minced parsley for serving
For the Tahini Sauce:
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons water
For the Chickpea Croutons:
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas (if from the can rinsed, drained and patted dry)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons za'atar (a middle eastern spice blend)

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Toss chickpeas with the olive oil and za'atar. Bake in the oven until lightly browned and crisp. About 15-20 minutes. Toss chickpeas halfway through baking.
  2. Prepare the tahini sauce by combing all of the ingredients and mixing until smooth. This works best with an immersion blender or food processor. Taste test and adjust seasonings if need be.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until fragrant. About 5 minutes. Stir in the squash and spices. Cook for about 3 more minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes.
  4. Carefully puree the soup with an immersion blender or regular blender. Taste test and adjust seasonings if needed.
  5. Serve the soup with a healthy drizzle of the tahini sauce, chickpea croutons, parsley and plenty of salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

*Use this recipe as a guide. *Adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary. *Taste test as you go. *Have fun in the kitchen.


Leave a Reply

20 thoughts on “Winter Squash Soup with Tahini & Za’atar

  1. 15 types of squash! I love it. I’ve seen kuri squash at the farmers markets, but I’m not sure if I’ve tried them before. Now they’re on my list!

    Not sure if you remember, but I used to write a blog called Vermont Vittles, talking about homesteading and home cooking. I’m blogging again, and we’re back on track to do the same! Love getting ideas here.

    1. Andrea says:

      So happy to hear you are blogging again! Thanks for the lovely comment!

  2. Love the sound of this soup, and Red Kuri has been on my list of squash to try for a long time now!

    1. Andrea says:

      It’s such a lovely squash. Let me know when you try it for the first time!

  3. Those croutons are worth the price of admission!

  4. Nina says:

    Red kuri is a favourite of mine too! It is quite fashionable in France, though butternut also starts to be hype! What I like about red kuri is its sweet and nutty taste as you say (though sometimes, I want a less sweet squash for soup, so I go for regular winter squash, sorry red kuri 😉 btw, the nutty taste is empowered when roasting the squash!), but also its texture, way less watery than regular squash, which makes it the best variety for purée in my opinion (and this purée can be easily used for baking!). Also, you can grate raw red kuri and use it in salads/slaws, which might probably not work as well with a more watery squash. Aaaand the BEST thing with red kuri is its thin and soft skin which is totally edible (either raw or cooked). Next time you cook with it, don’t even bother peeling it 😉

    1. Andrea says:

      Woohoo! So happy you love red kuri as much as we do. Thanks for the no peeling tip!

  5. francesca says:

    Cant believe all that snow!! Also, zaatar in soup is genius.

  6. This is such a comforting bowl of soup! I’m a huge fan of chickpea croutons!

    1. Andrea says:

      I love chickpea croutons SO much! I hope you try them with the za’atar!

  7. First time visitor to your blog- it’s gorgeous! Wow, you really did get a LOT of snow! This soup sounds incredible and has all the flavors I’ve been craving lately, although I’ve never had a red kuri squash! Now I have to go find one.

  8. Never tried chickpeas croutons, but sure I’d love them!

  9. Jessica says:

    I made this soup last night. It was great! I think I could have eaten the tray of the chickpea croutons just by themselves. One thing I noticed was that 1/2 teaspoon of salt in the tahini sauce made for a pretty salty sauce, but I just added more tahini, water, and lemon juice to balance out the saltiness.

    1. Andrea says:

      Thanks for the comment Jessica! I just decreased the salt amount to 1/4 teaspoon. Great feedback!

  10. This recipe reminded me of how much I love roasted chickpeas with different flavoring! I haven’t made them in ages. I actually have some za’atar at home that my mom brought me from Israel. Awesome!

    The soup looks really good, I love the combination of flavors you have in there, that all sounds really good together.

  11. Tanya says:

    There are so many variations of za’atar. Which brand are you using?

  12. Marlyse says:

    I made this tonight for dinner & it was a hit with my hubby & me. Thanks.

  13. Clem says:

    I just tried this recipe and it’s delicious, and looks fantastic ! I just had to add more water to the tahini sauce to make it more liquid, and I left the chickpeas a bit longer than indicated.

  14. Marlyse Benitah says:

    I made this with pumpkin because that’s what I had on-hand. It was delicious! Thanks.

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