North African Squash and Apple Soup
Nothing battles winter’s chill like a warm bowl of soup, especially this North African squash and apple soup. There is something so comforting about slowly warming yourself from the inside one spoonful at a time.
The moment the temperature drops, I go gaga for the heartiness of squash and how beautifully it pairs with fresh apples. I first tried a variation of this soup in North Africa and have since made it a staple in my kitchen every winter.
The original inspiration for this soup was a broth-like soup made from simmering squash with heavy seasoning. The soup was delicate but delivered the warmth of a thousand blankets. That first taste left me hungering for more and prompted a quest to find a recipe that included the flavors but fed me more like a meal than a starter.
What makes this soup different from all other roasted squash soups you may have tried is that the Honeycrisp apples add a subtle sweetness that blends deliciously with the squash’s buttery and nutty flavors. And when you add Shawarma West spices into the mix, it offers deep, earthy flavors inspired by the western Mediterranean cuisine and delivers notes of cumin and turmeric.
This is the perfect recipe for lunch with friends. You can also transform it into a fun canape by offering this soup in shot glasses served with a cheese straw and dusted with smoked paprika.
No matter how you serve it, the end result is a boldly colored soup that warms you from within, feeding your wanderlust for flavor and substance.
Roasted Honeycrisp Apple and Squash Soup
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and seeded
- 1 medium acorn squash, peeled and seeded
- 2 medium yellow onions, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, quartered
- 2 Honeycrisp apples, peeled and cored
- 2 teaspoons Shawarma West* ground spice blend
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon preserved lemon paste* OR 1 teaspoon preserved lemon
- 1 pinch your favorite pepper blend (optional)
- 1 splash cream for garnish
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Peel, core/seed and cut the squash, onions and apples into equal-sized quarters. Place on a roasting pan with the garlic cloves. Season with Shawarma West spice blend. Generously drizzle olive oil across the top.
Roast for 40 minutes or until tender.
Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Add roasted vegetables to a food processor along with the stock. Blitz the ingredients together until smooth.
Return the pureed mixture to a saucepan and simmer on medium heat. Add the preserved lemon and optional pepper blend. Stir until fully blended. Warm through. Whisk in the cream and serve immediately garnished with warm flatbread.
Note: Leftovers may be stored in the refrigerator for three days or frozen for up to six months. If you can’t find Honeycrisp apples, opt for apples with a similar sweet and tart flavor profile such as Gala.
*Sharwarma West ground spice blend and preserved lemon paste can be purchased on etiennemarket.com. (Recipes for both ingredients are widely available on the Internet if you prefer to make your own. Taste will vary depending on recipe selected.)
———————————————————————————————Coryanne Ettiene is a globetrotting entrepreneur who reluctantly embraced domesticity only to uncover her hidden passion for home and cooking. As a food and lifestyle expert, Ettiene entertained national TV audiences and wrote for publications such as Better Homes and Gardens, Traditional Home and the Huffington Post for nearly a decade. In 2015, she founded Ettiene Market, an award-winning kitchenware and fine ingredients store, in downtown McKinney. Ettiene Market Round Top will open in early 2019.
article and photos by Coryanne Ettiene