Sopa de Calabaza

Perfect for holiday entertaining, colorful soup starts off a meal.

Chef Thierry Isambert From the Champagne region of France, Thierry Isambert of Thierry’s Catering and Event Design received his training from L’ École Hôtelière Poligny and was awarded the prestigious “Mérite de Agricole” medal from the Ministry of France.
Chef Thierry Isambert
From the Champagne region of France, Thierry Isambert of Thierry’s Catering and Event Design received his training from L’ École Hôtelière Poligny and was awarded the prestigious “Mérite de Agricole” medal from the Ministry of France.

This is a simple recipe for Sopa de Calabaza, a delectable pumpkin or squash soup made with organic and fresh ingredients. This sopa de zapallo or calabaza, which is Spanish for pumpkin, is a perfect accompaniment for holiday entertaining.

Serve it in a demitasse during your cocktail hour or as a first course with dinner. To dress it up a bit, serve the soup in a natural pumpkin or china soup bowl. Garnish with pumpkin seeds and natural oregano.

You can use any type of squash to make the soup — I use pumpkins when they’re in season (which doesn’t seem to be too long). Butternut squash is much easier to find and tends to be available for most of the fall and winter. So it’s a great squash to use if you’d rather substitute for calabaza.

Because of the bold flavors of pumpkin or squash, onions, garlic, cumin, tomatoes, and chicken stock bring out the richness in this recipe.

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Makes 8 servings
Olive oil, for drizzling, plus 1/4 cup
2 pounds calabaza, peeled and cut in cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 white onions, large dice
1 red pepper, large dice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups white wine
2 quarts chicken stock
2 quarts heavy cream
1/2 bunch thyme, about 12 sprigs
3 teaspoons sugar.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the calabaza. Season with salt and pepper, and roast in the oven until tender, about 1/2 hour.

In a large stockpot, heat 1/4 cup olive oil and sauté onions, red pepper, and garlic. Cook for about 8 minutes or until caramelized.

Deglaze with white wine. Add chicken stock and heavy cream, sugar, and the roasted calabaza. Add the thyme. Bring to a boil. Simmer about 20 minutes. Puree all the ingredients. Strain the soup and adjust the seasonings. Serve in a small calabaza, which has been carved out, or china soup bowl.

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