It’s September. Temps are (finally!) cooling down. There’s squash at the farmers market. And there’s candy corn at the grocery store. Yep, it’s officially fall!
While I haven’t caved on buying candy corn quite yet, I did stock up on a few of my favorite squash varieties at the farmers market. So far I’ve bought butternut, kabocha, and acorn squash and can’t wait until the spaghetti and delicata squashes make their appearance!
Since it was still pretty warm last week, I wanted to make something that was still on the lighter side, but comforting and fall-like. This Harissa Butternut Squash Soup definitely hit the spot. It is seriously SO good. It has the sweetness and silkiness from the butternut squash, and then a ton of flavor from the harissa.
Are you familiar with harissa yet? I’ve proclaimed my love for it in a few of my other recipes (Harissa Chorizo Sweet Potato Hash, Harissa Chicken Salad, and Harissa Chicken Skewers with Herbed Yogurt Dipping Sauce) and now it’s back in this soup!
So what is harissa, exactly? It’s a hot chile pepper paste used in a lot of Moroccan and Tunisian dishes. I’ve made my own and bought it pre-made and I definitely think taking the time to make it yourself is the way to go. BUT! Especially now that I’m a mom, I totally appreciate the convenience of store-bought sauces and marinades. So by all means, buy it from the store (or even easier – Amazon!)if you don’t have the time or desire to make your own. Regardless, the harissa takes butternut squash soup up a notch.
I used my Vitamix blender to get this soup super silky smooth, so I would recommend using a high powered blender like that to achieve that texture. If you don’t have one, an immersion blender would work well, but it probably won’t get quite as smooth. Still delicious, though!
Looking for more butternut squash soup recipes? Check these out:
- 1 medium butternut squash peeled, seeds scooped out, and diced into 1" pieces
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion sliced
- 1 red bell pepper stem and seeds removed, sliced into large pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/3 cup harissa
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 14 oz can coconut milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Toss butternut squash in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Place on a baking sheet. I line mine with aluminum foil for easier clean up, but this is optional.
- Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, until tender.
- In large soup pot, heat remaining olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add onion and bell pepper, season with cumin, chili powder, paprika, and salt, and cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add garlic and harissa, and cook another 1-2 minutes.
- Add butternut squash, vegetable broth, coconut milk, and season with salt and pepper.
- Let it come to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Place soup in high-powered blender or use an immersion blender to puree soup until silky smooth.
- Serve and enjoy!