squash and chickpea soup

a couple of weeks ago i received a selection of different types of squash in my vegetable box. some were roasted with garlic and chilli but the onion squash was saved (or, more accurately, neglected and then embraced) for a Skye Gyngell recipe – onion squash and chickpea soup. 

Skye sings the praises of the onion squash – its deep rich flavour, firm texture and particularly its skin, which doesn’t need to be removed. perfect for a lazy Saturday lunch.

the flavours of this soup are very gentle so i was glad that i’d upped the chilli content, using a very hot fresh chilli and a teaspoon of harissa. i also added the juice of a lemon to add a bit of freshness. the tomato flavour is very strong and, if i was making this again i’d use the fresh tomatoes or the tinned, but not both.

below is skye’s recipe, with my notes added.

skye gyngell’s onion squash and chickpea soup (serves 4)

50ml extra-virgin olive oil

1 red onion, finely sliced

1 dried red chilli (i used a very hot fresh red chilli)

1 small bunch of sage (i used about a heaped teaspoonof chopped sage leaves and think you could add a bit more)

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

1 onion squash, sliced in half, deseeded and sliced into one-inch chunks

16 small plum tomatoes

sea salt

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

250ml water

350g chickpeas, soaked and cooked (i used tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed)

1 small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

60g grated parmesan

place a third of the oil into a large, heavy-based pan over a medium heat. when warm, add the onion and chilli, turn down the heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes until the onion is soft. now add the sage, garlic, onion squash and the small plum tomatoes (and a teaspoon of harissa if you are using it). add a good pinch of salt, stir once or twice, then return the lid to the pan and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes. add the tomatoes, turn the heat up slightly and cook with the lid off until the squash is soft and just beginning to fall apart. add the water and the cooked chickpeas, a little more salt and cook for a final 20 minutes. to serve, spoon into warmed bowls, drizzle with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle over the parsley and parmesan.