Butternut Squash Soup with Chickpeas

Today’s recipe is a soup that I adapted from an old Sephardic Israeli family recipe. It utilizes two popular Middle Eastern ingredients, chickpeas and butternut squash, to create a hearty soup that is low in calories and full of fiber. The natural sweetness of the squash really compliments the nutty flavor of the chickpeas. The broth is spiced with turmeric, which has strong anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. In fact, turmeric is currently being studied as a possible cancer-fighting agent; some people take it in pill form because of its numerous health benefits.

Update: I originally presented two versions of this soup in a single blog… one uses a marrowbone for a savory broth, the other is vegan (click here for vegan version). Recently I did a small blog reorganization and split the two recipes into separate blogs. The recipe that appears here is the meat version. Both versions are healthy, full of flavor, and gluten-free. Enjoy!

Note: It’s important to keep the skin on when dicing the butternut squash. If you use skinned squash, it will dissolve during cooking and the soup will lose its hearty texture.

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Butternut Squash Soup with Chickpeas


2 cans large chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans, drained
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 butternut squash, seeded and cubed (skin on)
1 large kosher beef marrowbone
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp turmeric
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and black pepper to taste
Fresh parsley, finely chopped (garnish)

Serves 8
Kosher Key: Meat, Kosher for Sephardic Passover

Prep the chickpeas by gently squeezing them one by one to remove the outer skins. Throw the skins away and reserve the chickpeas. Warm the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion for a few minutes until it begins to caramelize. Add the butternut squash pieces, marrow bone, skinned chickpeas and spices to the pot. Fill the pot with water till all ingredients are completely covered. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Skim the foam from the top of the broth. Cover the pot, vented slightly, and slowly simmer the soup for 2 hours. Add salt and pepper to taste after the first hour of cooking. Serve hot. Garnish each bowl with fresh parsley.

Comments (12)Post a Comment

  1. This looks so good! Thanks for including a vegan version. I’m a GF vegan so it’s super hard finding recipes that taste good. Can’t wait to try this. You rock shiksa!

  2. Hey Tori, first time writing… loved the VEGAN version… keep those up! Want to encourage vegan lifestyle wherever I can… especially to my fellow tribe members!

  3. Dear Tory,
    I did it again! Read your blog, got the ingredients (vegan style), made the recipe. Delicious. Husband loved it. You are a Jewish girl’s dream come true (especially one who was raised by a mother who thought kraft macaroni and cheese was a gourmet meal). Bless you!


  4. Hi Tori, I hope you had a good Pesach. I have been enjoying your blogging for quite some time. I love your recipes. I understand you had a contest. Am I too late to submit a recipe? I have some matzoh ball soup recipes that are very good. Also beef brisket and potato kugel. Do you have any of those? I think you would like my recipes. Am I too late? Love you and love your blog! Eydie

  5. Torileh.

    Not to be contrary, but we made the version with the marrow bone tonight and LOVED it. None of this vegan stuff for me, I like my soup on the meaty side. I could have even done with some extra stew meat thrown in, slow cooked till it’s really tender, you know? Mmmm might try that next time!


  6. Glad you all like the recipe! I’ll try to post more vegan recipes in the future (and some meaty ones for Michael too! LOL)

    Eydie, unfortunately the contest is over, but you can feel free to submit your recipe for blog or cookbook consideration by clicking this link:

    link to theshiksa.com

    Submissions are considered for coverage in the blog, as well as for my upcoming cookbooks. I love hearing from Jewish family cooks, and would love to read any original recipes you might be willing to share.

  7. Hi Tori. I have been following you on Facebook and have finally had time to check out your site. Like you, I am a Shiska and LOVE to cook.

    I was very happy to find this recipe as it gives me a new use for butternut squash – both my toddler and hubby love it. I do have one question about the recipes and it’s really more out of curiosity than anything else – why skin the beans? I have never seen this step in a recipe before and so am intrigued.

    Keep up the good work. I cannot wait for your cookbook to be published!


  8. Hi Lisa– great question! Garbanzo beans have a bit of skin on the outer layer which tends to fall off when being slowly cooked in a hot liquid (like this soup). This makes for a strange texture in the soup, with little bean skins floating around in the broth. It’s really more aesthetic than anything else, since the soup will taste the same with or without the skins. Feel free to skip this step if you’re running short on time, the flavor will remain the same. 😉

  9. Hi Tori!I just recently discovered you on Fb and just added your site to my favorites! Love your recipes and can’t wait to try one. It makes me feel so nostalgic! I was so pleased to see the vegan version. Please continue with your awesome site and include vegetarian and vegan options! You rock!!

    1. Thanks Amy! So sweet of you to say that. If you use the pull-down menu on my blog page, you’ll find a “Vegan” category with quite a few options for you. :)

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