This soup is based on a Sephardic (Spanish-Jewish) recipe. Though the dish is vegetarian, cooking the pumpkin with cinnamon and cloves gives the broth an “implied meatiness,” says Michael Solomonov. Toasted fideos (noodles) help thicken the soup and make it even more substantial.
Slideshow:More Vegetarian Soups
Recipe from Food & Wine America's Greatest New Cooks
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Spanish onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1 celery rib, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 1/4 pounds pumpkin or butternut squash—peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon Urfa or Aleppo pepper (see Note)
One 1-inch cinnamon stick
Pinch of ground cloves
8 cups vegetable stock or low-sodium broth
4 ounces fideos or capellini, broken into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
How to Make It
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, celery, garlic, ginger and a generous pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and well browned, about 15 minutes. Add the pumpkin, tomato paste, Urfa pepper, cinnamon stick and cloves and cook, stirring, until the pumpkin just starts to soften, about 7 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over moderately low heat for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard the cinnamon stick.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spread the fideos on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, until well browned and nutty-smelling.
Add the toasted fideos to the soup and cook over moderate heat until the noodles are al dente, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and season with salt. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.
The soup can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently before serving.
Urfa and Aleppo peppers are crushed dried chiles from Turkey and Syria, respectively; Urfa is slightly hotter than Aleppo. Both are available at gourmet markets and amazon.com.
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