Calabaza, what is it? It is the word pumpkin in Spanish. There is a difference though. When we think of pumpkin we usually think of the jack-o-lantern and Halloween. There are many different varieties of calabaza or pumpkins, also knowns as a squash or gourd.
The origin of calabaza dates bake to 700 BC in Mexico, where seeds were found in tombs. The seeds were what was mainly consumed, made into a ground "sauce". The seeds of pumpkin are known as pepitas and are delicious raw and roasted. They are very good for you with loads o nutrients. The calabaza itself was used as a drinking vessel during that time. Back in 700 BC there weren't many different cooking methods, especially for things as big as gourds. As time progressed and we learned different forms of method of cooking we began to eat these vegetables instead of drinking out of them.
It is that time of year again to start thinking of fall flavors and recipes. It is my FAVORITE time of year!!! I love using fall spices, vegetables, and dishes. They become more warming and satisfying. Plus it means the holidays are coming up!
Yields 4 servings
3-4 cups Calabaza/Pumpkin - peeled + diced
4 carrots - washed and chopped
3 small yukon gold potatoes - peeled and diced
1 yellow onion - small dice
3-4 cups Stock (Chicken or Vegetable) - I used Pacific brand
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt + pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Garnish- Pea Greens
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place calabaza on a baking sheet with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 35 minutes. It is okay if the calabaza isn't completely tender, it will continue to cook in the pot.
2. In a large dutch oven or pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and a pinch or 2 of salt. Let the onions sweat for 2-3 minutes, until translucent.
3. Add the carrots and cumin and cinnamon. Season with salt and pepper as well. Let this cook for 5-6 minutes.
4. Add the roasted calabaza and potatoes to the pot. Also add the stock, season with salt and pepper, and bring the pot to a light boil. Cover the pot and turn the heat to low. Let this cook for 20-25 minutes.
5. Once the potatoes, carrots, and calabaza are tender turn the heat off. With a hand blender puree the soup until it is nice and smooth. You may need to adjust the consistency with add more stock. If you don't have a hand blender you can use a blender, but be very careful. When using a blender to blend hot soups.
6. Serve the soup and garnish as desired.