If you have been following me on Facebook or Instagram, you know I was in Mexico over the long weekend. My cousin had a foreign exchange student that lived with her to learn English when she was in high school, and they have remained friends with her and her family for over 37 years.
Vivian and the Garcia family live in Leon, Mexico which is in the center of the state. The city has grown tremendously (according to my cousin), and has turned into a sprawling location to live. During our visit, we traveled to San Miguel, Mexico – about 2 hours drive, and learned about the indigenous people integrating with the Spanish back in the 1500’s. Also, we explored Guanajuato, Mexico – less than 30 minutes from Leon, and encountered the beautiful University as well as local sites, smells and tastes.
I was completely inspired by my visit and wanted to create a Mexican dish, but we my own twist. This Mexican Roasted Butternut Squash is just that – earthy, heart warming and easy to prepare. Most of us know how to roast a winter squash in the oven, but layering the soup with south-of-the-border flavors is key.
I chose ground cumin and oregano to add depth to this vegetable and topped it with a sprinkling of roasted pepitas for a nice crunch. I think this soup will become a traditional recipe in most of our kitchens because it really fills those Mexican food cravings without feeling too heavy.
1 butternut squash, about 2 1/2 pounds
1 red onion
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 quart chicken broth
1/2 cup roasted pepitas
1 lime, cut in wedges
fresh parsley or cilantro, optional
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice squash in half and remove seeds. Place cut-side-down on a sheet pan drizzled with oil. Rub oil over the exterior of squash. Roast in the oven for 1 hour, or until fork tender.
2. In a large pot or dutch oven, add 2 teaspoons oil and place over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 4 minutes. Add cumin, oregano, salt and pepper and stir until combined. Scoop pulp from squash and add to the onion mixture.
3. Pour in the chicken broth and stir. Place lid a jar over soup and cook on low, for 20 minutes. Remove lid and ladle into blender, puree until smooth. Spoon soup into bowls and top with a squeeze of lime and pepitas. Enjoy!