Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Quibebe - Brazilian Squash Soup

Brazillian Squash Soup

Sometimes when I'm looking for soups to make, the most childish things attract me.  For instance, when I was researching South American soups (you'll remember that I'm a little excited by them right now) I was drawn to this recipe simply by its name Quibebe.  Say it out loud.  It's impossible not to smile at that word.  It's also impossible not to smile when you taste this soup.  Its creamy, a little bit spicy and amazing.  Perfect for a winter's evening when there is snow on the ground and the nights are short.

Snow. It's pretty, isn't it?
In fact, pretty much nothing like what I imagine the weather is like in Brazil, where this recipe comes from.  Although I imagine it gets pretty chilly in the Andes.  (And yes, I did make a reference to the Andes without a) doing a Chilly/Chile pun, b) an Andes/Hands pun or c) referencing the movie Alive. I must be ill)

Other things that attract me to soup recipes are weird and wonderful ingredients, and whilst this soup contains nothing that you wouldn't find in your local corner shop, I did unearth a recipe for Piranha Soup.

Where does one acquire Piranhas from? Allegedly, the soup has aphrodisiac qualities (presumably derived from the fact it's made from Piranha, much the same way as idiots think Tiger Testicles are an aphrodisiac too) so I'm not sure substituting for any other fish would have the same effect.

So if your local Aldi does sell Piranha on their fish counter, do let me know and Ill be all over it

(And whilst we are on the subject of puns, should I do a 'In Brazil the soup eats you' gag here?)

500g Butternut Squash
100g Potatoes
20g Butter
2 Tomatoes
2 Stalks Celery
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Onion
1tsp Dried Chilli Flakes
1/4tsp Light Brown Sugar
1.2l Beef Stock 
Salt and Pepper

1. Peel and de-seed the squash and cut into cubes of about 1cm.  Peel the potato and roughly chop that too.  Thinly slice the onion and celery.  Put the tomatoes in boiling water and leave to soak, then remove the skin, seeds and cut into small bits.

2. In your soup pan, heat the butter and then gently cook the onion, celery, garlic and chili flakes until the vegetables are soft but not coloured.  Add the squash and potato, stir everything round and cook for a few more minutes, before adding the stock and sugar.

3.  Bring the soup to a simmer, cover and cook for 25 minutes, until the squash and potatoes are very soft and starting to break up.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Brazillian Squash Soup
4.  Blend the soup until smooth, then return to the pan, adjust seasoning to taste and reheat.  Serve and garnish with parmesan and croutons. Enjoy!