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
- 30 ounces cooked chickpeas, drained (2 cans)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 butternut squash, seeded and cubed (skin on)
- 1 large Kosher beef marrow bone
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Salt and black pepper (to taste)
- Fresh parsley, finely chopped for garnish (optional)
- 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.