November 19, 2008

Spicy chipotle squash soup

I know what you're thinking. Soup again? Is that all she eats? I really don't like to repeat myself and post variations of past recipes, but this was the best winter squash soup I've ever made. It just wouldn't be fair not to share the recipe, even if it is related to a recent post.

I was having a "don't want to cook" night, and nothing seemed easy enough. My daughter-in-law e-mailed me a recipe for a butternut squash lasagna that she had just made but she couldn't convince me that it "wasn't any trouble at all." Yeah right. When non-vegans make lasagna they just have to scoop the ricotta out of a container. Vegans have to make the "ricotta." And there was the part about baking the squash and making the sauce. On and on. I thought lasagna was trouble BEFORE I was vegan, which is why it's usually served on special occasions and at potlucks when you're trying to show off.

But the squash part reminded me that I could make a pressure-cooked soup without much effort. I hadn't planned to post about it since I had recently done that, but a few changes in the seasonings produced a result that surprised us with its fabulous flavor. I have to warn you that it was really spicy. Maybe even a little too spicy for me. I think I had smoke coming out of my ears, but my fire-eating son pronounced it the best soup he'd ever had.

I used two delicata and one acorn squash but you can use any dry-fleshed squash like butternut or buttercup.

Spicy winter soup
  • Winter squash equivalent to one large butternut squash
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • one tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • two or three pieces crystallized ginger
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon truffle oil or virgin olive oil
  1. Sauté the chopped onion in the pressure cooker until it softens and starts to brown. Remove to a small bowl.
  2. Cut the ends off the squash, split in half, remove seeds and cut into large pieces. Place in the pressure cooker with six (approximately) cups of water. Cook at pressure for five minutes. Bring pressure down quickly. Lift the squash out with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl to cool a little. When the squash is cool nough to handle, scrape the flesh out with a spoon and put the skin in the compost.
  3. Put the squash back into the pot with onion, garlic, ginger, chipotlé, oil and salt to taste. (I used a scant half teaspoon of salt.)
  4. Use an immersible blender to purée the soup to creamy perfection. (Or use an actual blender.)
And this is????
Okay. My husband has many visiting scholars and foreign students visiting him on campus (he's a professor). Many of them are from Asia and they often bring him tea. We have this little can of tightly wound bundles of something that when placed in a tea infuser and steeped in a mug of hot water, look like this picture. Any tea experts out there who know what it is? It's very flowery and delicious.


  1. I have no idea what kind of tea you got, but it sure does look wonderful.

    I have to laugh that 1/2 t. chili powder is too spicy for you! My mom is the same way, even after 50 years here in Texas. I'm sure your soup is delicious.

  2. I know I don't have Texas taste buds, but when I use chili powder I usually measure it by tablespoons and keep adding more and more. But the chipotle powder I have is really hot. It adds a lot of fire along with the flavor and I guess I need a little Texas blood to fully appreciate it!

  3. My first thought on the tea was chrysanthemum. There are also other different dried flower teas. Jasmine. Lotus. Lily. Go to google images and enter 'chinese flower tea' to see if you spot yours. I don't know why that popped into my head. I've never actually seen or tried any of these.

  4. Agnes, my first thought was chrysanthemum and my second was jasmine. I don't really know which it is. I followed your suggestion and found pictures of "magic Chinese flower tea" that looked just like the tightly wound balls of tea we have. Thanks! I've never seen this tea before.

  5. I just found your blog and I am loving it. As a lover of all things spicy and all things squash, this soup has me sold. I am going to take this recipe down and add it to my insane list of recipes I want to try.

    Have I mentioned that I ADORE chipotle chili powder? Mmmmm.

  6. The jasmine balls are delicious. They can be made with either white or green tea and are then infused with jasmine. The soup sounds great. Usually I make mine gingery but I like the sound of this one.

  7. Wow Jordan was right--this is the best soup EVER! Creamy and spicy all in one bite. We used Kabocha squash and it was yummmm. I do have to say, however, that it was WAY more work than the butternut squash lasagna. I had never tried to pressure cook a squash before, and I thought I followed your directions, but when I opened it up a lot of the skin had broken off and it was hard to pick it out. Nonetheless, it was very tasty. THANKS!

  8. Andrea, thanks for commenting on my Hummus Heat with Pitas & Vegetables. Can you tell what recipe of yours I was attracted to immediately - this wonderful soup with chipotle. It sounds sooo good!

  9. hi there im looking for michael stephenson is he still posting here

  10. I'm not much of a soup person, but I decided to give this one a try. I made it last night. I don't have a pressure cooker, so I boiled the squash chunks for about 15 minutes. I also used less onion, because I'm not a big fan of onion. And I didn't have truffle oil, so I just used more olive oil. To sum up, it tastes great. It is definitely spicy. It turned out VERY thick, more like mashed potatoes than soup, so I added some broth to try and thin it out, which helped some, but it's still so thick that it doesn't really seem like a soup to me. All in all though, very tasty. I wish I'd had truffle oil, so I could see how that affects the flavor, and next time I'd probably use less chipotle powder, because seriously, HOT.


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