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Friday, December 1, 2023

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Goat Cheese and Harissa Oil

We have been having unseasonably warm weather, that is until this week when temperatures have dipped to single digits.  Whenever I start to feel a slight winter chill it’s time to dig out my heavy blankets and soup recipes.  But it has only been in the last year that I have been able to get MarocBaba and the boys to enjoy soup.

You must understand how difficult that was for me, a soup lover.  For years I went without, choosing to sacrifice my soup-love.  I mean I could talk them into the soup as a vegetarian iftar recipe but a meal? Nope. I also would never eat a full pot myself, but also I didn’t want the work of cooking two different things.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Harissa Oil

When Paula Wolferts’ Food of Morocco came out I poured over all of the recipes.  Moroccans don’t eat a lot of soup save for the traditional harira. But what I did find in this book was a Spiced Butternut Squash Soup.  Creamed soups aren’t usually my thing, I like broth,  but we had gotten butternut squash in some of our last CSA boxes.

Where does Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Soup Come From?

This recipe is from the Rif Mountains in northern Morocco (most likely why I hadn’t had it before) where the winters are cold as they are here in the Midwest.  You can find Paula’s original recipe in her book.  I adapted this recipe to make it slightly different.

I think this is the perfect recipe to add to a Moroccan Thanksgiving celebration!

Do You Have to Use Goat Cheese in This Butternut Squash Soup?

Nope, you don’t have to use any cheese at all! But you could blend a smoother cheese like cream cheese or Boursin cheese for added flavor. I like the crumbled goat cheese because you get the creamy flavor but also a bit different texture on top.

How about the Harissa Oil?

This is not traditional to this soup at all and is something I just thought would work well. It’s also insanely simple – just olive oil plus harissa paste – mix as you like! I think dressing up your soup is fun so go wild!

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