Five Spice Squash Soup

A “He Cooks” post from my friend Mike, who introduced himself last week with Fried Beer-Battered Pickles.

After seeing Brittany’s squash soup post, I decided to make one myself. I thought the distinctive flavor of five spice would go great with the sweetness of the squash. (Five spice is a Chinese blend of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Szechwan pepper and ground fennel seeds.) The five spice was wonderful with the squash, but the soup was a little sweet. I’ll definitely skip the roasting to cut down on the sweetness next time I make it. (The recipe below takes that into account.)

Unfortunately, I’m not much of a photographer, and was in a bit of a hurry to get this one on the table, so the picture doesn’t really do it justice. I also made some spicy shrimp to go on top, but the spoonful of crème fraiche, fresh chives, and pickled ginger I had on the leftovers complemented the flavors of the soup much better.
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Five Spice Squash Soup

I don’t usually follow recipes, but I’ll try to estimate about how much of everything I put in.

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced and washed
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 1 acorn squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 1 teaspoon five spice powder
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 quart of chicken stock, more if needed
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • whipped crème fraiche, pickled ginger, and fresh chives for garnish (optional)

Sauté the leek, onion, carrot and a pinch of salt until softened. Add the ginger, garlic, cayenne, and five spice and sauté until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute.

Add the stock and squash and simmer until tender.

Puree, in batches if necessary, and add more hot stock or water to reach a creamy consistency.

Stir in the lemon juice off the heat.

Top with a dollop of whipped crème fraiche, fresh chives, and thinly sliced pickled ginger for garnish.

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2 Replies to “Five Spice Squash Soup”

  1. Now, I’ve never tried five spice powder in a squash soup — but it makes perfect sense. And all those warming spices are perfect for this time of the year!

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