One of the best investments I've made to enhance my cooking arsenal is a Vitamix high-speed blender. Despite the competitor's claims, you simply cannot get the same results when blending with a Ninja or KitchenAid vs. the Vitamix. Don't get me wrong, I understand that not everyone out there is able to splurge on the power of a Vitamix. I thought that was the case for me until I discovered that Vitamix actually sells certified reconditioned blenders! Just like buying a car certified preowned, these refurbished blenders are guaranteed to function just like their brand new counterparts, and for a fraction of the price.
About a year ago I saved up and bought myself the Vitamix 5300 for about $249 and at the time the brand new model was around $400! It has definitely paid for itself as I use it on the daily. I went with the basic basic model which I actually prefer because it has more classic analog dials and switches vs. new school touch-screen ones, but that's my personal preference.
I am so obsessed with my blender I use it every single morning to blend my bulletproof coffee followed by a Fab4 smoothie, however there are literally a myriad of other uses for the Vitamix other than smoothies, and one of those is blended soups!
Enter my new favorite Roasted Kabocha Soup with Harissa and Smoky Chickpeas. This soup is wonderfully comforting and nourishing to prepare on a chilly winter night. Kabocha, also known as Japanese pumpkin, has a sweet and rich flavor that's kind of like a mix between a butternut squash and a sweet potato. Kabocha is packed with nutritional benefits. Its high in vitamins A and C, and is a good source of fiber. Its bright colored flesh tells you its also packed with antioxidants and carotenoids. Kabocha also has half the carbs of most other squash. This soup's addition of coconut milk for good fat, chickpeas for added protein, plus turmeric and ginger to fight inflammation, make it a well-rounded meal that is sure satiate and balance out the blood-sugar curve. Seriously I was full for hours after eating this nutrient dense soup.
Not to mention it's downright delicious due to the flavor bomb addition known as harissa! Harissa is a North African blend of hot chilis made into a paste. You can make it yourself, but I personally have fallen in love with this ready made brand called, Entube. If you’re not a spicy lover, just cut my measurement down by half or more and work your way up!
Let me know if you make this soup and feel free to tag me in any of your photos using #fedbybecca. I'd love to see your creations!
Roasted Kabocha Soup with Harissa and Smoky Chickpeas
1 medium kabocha squash, cut in half with seeds removed
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1-2 tablespoons harissa paste (try Entube Harissa)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon fresh chopped ginger
1 tablespoon chopped fresh turmeric
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 ½ cups full-fat coconut milk
2 cups vegetable broth
1 can of chickpeas (16oz), drained
fresh ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425°F. Season kabocha halves generously with salt and pepper, drizzle each with olive oil. Place the squash flesh-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake until browned and tender, about 35 minutes.
Add drained chickpeas to another parchment-lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with cumin and smoked paprika. Toss to coat thoroughly and return to a single layer. Roast in the oven alongside the kabocha for 35 minutes, stirring halfway through, until chickpeas are beginning to get crisp on the outside.
Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add diced onion smashed garlic and a pinch of salt. Sweat the onions and garlic until soft and aromatic.
Add the ginger, turmeric, and harissa paste, sauté for one minute. The spices should open up and become fragrant but not burned. Add the stock and coconut milk, stir to combine. Cover and let simmer gently until the squash is ready to come out of the oven.
When the kabocha is cooked through and pierces very easily with a fork, remove it and the chickpeas from the oven. Set the chickpeas aside.
Once the squash is cool enough to handle, scrape out the squash flesh and add it to broth mixture. Bring the soup up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 5 more minutes, this lets all the flavors amalgamate.
Finally, blend in a high-speed blender (preferably a Vitamix!) or using a handheld immersion blender until the soup is silky smooth. Taste for additional seasoning, garnish with crispy chickpeas and an extra drizzle of coconut milk if desired.
Enjoy and get hygge with it!