When autumn arrives in Umbria and the vineyards turn barren, a particular variety of winter squash can be spotted in withering vegetables gardens and on grocery store shelves. It’s a pretty zucca: bright orange inside with a tan-colored skin, indented by thick, scalloped ribs. Plus it’s an ideal winter squash for making soup, which is exactly what I did today.
How was it? I have to say delicious, and the recipe is below. (Shhh … the secret is the rosemary.)
Umbrian Winter Squash Soup with Rosemary and Chickpeas
- 2-3 cups winter squash, steamed or roasted until tender, skin removed
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 4 ribs of celery, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 springs fresh rosemary
- 1 16 ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Steam or roast the winter squash until tender, then set it aside as you prepare the other ingredients.
Simmer the chopped onion, celery, carrot and garlic in the olive oil until translucent. Add the water, rosemary sprigs, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer until completely cooked and very tender – about 20-30 minutes.
Remove and discard the rosemary sprigs, then combine the mixture with the squash in a food processor. (You might need to do this in 2 or more batches.) Process until smooth and lump free, adding a bit more water, only if needed.
Pour the soup into a pot and add the chickpeas. Heat until bubbly and serve hot with a drizzle of good olive oil.