Curried Kabocha Squash and Chickpea Soup

Makes 9 1/2 cups (2.375 mL)

Kabocha squash is a Japanese variety of winter squash with a hard shell and deep orange-yellow flesh. Although the skin is hard, it need not be peeled, as it’s edible and will soften as it cooks. This creamy, sweet squash is exceptional roasted or cooked in a soup. Measure all the ground spices into a small bowl and add them all at once. Butternut squash is a perfect substitute for kabocha, though it will need to be peeled.

2 tablespoons (30 mL) coconut or olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon (15 mL) minced ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons (30 mL) ground coriander
1 1/2 tablespoons (22 mL) ground toasted cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) salt
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) turmeric
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) cinnamon
4 cups (1 L) water
4 cups (1 L) diced, unpeeled Kabocha squash
2 cups (500 mL) chopped tomatoes
2 cups (500 mL) cooked or canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat and cook the onion, ginger, and garlic for 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Stir in the coriander, cumin, salt, turmeric, cayenne, cardamom, and cinnamon and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid scorching. Add 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the water and stir to loosen any spices that may have stuck to the bottom to the pot. Add remaining water along with the squash, tomatoes and chickpeas. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the squash is soft.

Per cup (250 mL): calories: 135, protein: 5 g, fat: 5 g, carbohydrate: 22 g (5 g from sugar), dietary fibre: 4 g, calcium: 77 mg, iron: 3 mg, magnesium: 54 mg, phosphorus: 107 mg, potassium: 482 mg, sodium: 260 mg, zinc: 1 mg, thiamin: 0.1 mg, riboflavin: 0.1 mg, niacin: 2 mg, vitamin B6: 0.2 mg, folate: 88 mcg, pantothenic acid: 0.4 mg, vitamin B12: 0 mcg, vitamin A: 350 mcg, vitamin C: 20 mg, vitamin E: 1 mg, omega-6 fatty acids: 0.6 g, omega-3 fatty acids: 0.1 g

Percentage of calories from protein 13%, fat 27%, carbohydrate 60%