Chef Anthony of Maize & Barley in downtown Edmonds is sharing his delicious squash soup with our readers. While it’s still chilly out and the markets are bursting with options for squash, this soup is sure to offer you a warm bowl of goodness. The restaurant just reopened after a recent renovation, so check out their Caribbean-inspired menu for in-person dining as well as takeout.
You will notice that Chef Anthony does not use measurements and his instructions come with a side of humor! So you will have to go with your gut and taste buds to make this recipe.
Jamaican-style Pumpkin Soup with Spinner Noodles
Winter Luxury or Sugar Pie Pumpkin. A Caribbean calabaza-type squash would be more authentic and butternut or other similar hard winter squashes work.
Thyme — fresh is, of course, best but dried is fine as long as it hasn’t been sitting in the back of a cupboard for years
1 habanero or scotch bonnet chile (or hot sauce)
Coconut milk and/or stock – homemade chicken or veg stock only, grocery store stock is not worth using. You’re usually better off substituting a cheap wine or American lager (Rainier, PBR, etc.)
Olive and/or canola oil
Preheat the oven to 400.
Cut the pumpkin in half carefully with a large heavy knife. Put the squash, cut side down, on a lightly oiled baking sheet and roast until soft. It’ll probably take about 20-30 minutes or more depending on the size of the squash. Let the pumpkin cool and remove the skin.
Hack the onion into chunks. Remove the peel first though, that part isn’t delicious. It’s very important to be imprecise during this chopping process. Always ration precision and anal retentiveness so that you have plenty left for garnishing your soup.
Heat a generous amount of oil in a large pot and add the onion. By “generous,” I mean not deep frying, but still not generally concerned about our calorie intake and more oil means less chance of burning on the bottom of the pan. We will, depending on the current state of weight-loss plans, probably be adding more oil later anyway.
When the onion is lightly browned, add the pumpkin and flavorful liquid(s) of your choice. If using liquor, never pour directly from the bottle into a hot pan or near open flame (no Molotovs in the kitchen).
Add cautious amounts of habanero if desired. 1/4 of a pepper may be plenty.
Top up with water if necessary and add a sprinkle of salt. Simmer, stirring frequently, for 15-20 minutes.
Near the end of cooking, add ground black pepper, grated nutmeg and thyme. Go easy with the nutmeg; you can always add more later.
Puree the soup with a blender, food processor or 5 hp outboard motor in an oil drum (not vegan friendly, due to dinosaur-based products).
In a blender, start on low speed with small batches unless you want to paint your ceiling orange.
In a food processor, it may take many small batches, but if you saved anal retentiveness from prior steps then you may want to use it to push the soup through a sieve, using a swirling motion with the back of a ladle. This strains out fibrous bits and gives the soup a smooth texture.
Put the soup back on the stove, thin as necessary with water or flavorful liquid. Check the taste and add more spices and salt if needed. If it tastes thin, whisk in more olive oil.
For the spinners:
Mix some flour and water in a bowl with a sprinkle of salt until you have a dough that looks like rough Playdough but tastes better.
Cover the dough with a towel to rest and boil a pot of lightly salted water.
Cover a baking sheet with flour.
Take a pinch of dough and roll it between your hands into some sort of vaguely noodle-ish looking shape, then toss it onto the floured baking sheet.
Keep hands and noodles well floured and brain liberally basted with leftover stock substitute from earlier.
Cook spinners in small batches.
Shake the flour off and boil for a couple minutes.
If they’re not going directly into the soup, toss the spinners with a bit of oil to keep them from sticking together.
Garnish the soup with something that looks nice and, if you’re really fancy, tastes nice too. No zig-zag drizzles of sauce, though. If I hear of any drizzles, I won’t share any more barely coherent soup recipes.
Maize & Barley
525 Main St.
Edmonds, WA 98020
Hours: Wednesday and Thursday noon-9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday noon-10 p.m.
Deborah Binder lives in Edmonds with her family. She loves to cook from scratch using produce from the gardens she created and maintains with her husband. She attended culinary school on the East Coast and focused on desserts, pastries and bread. She’s worked for restaurants and caterers in the front and back of the house (kitchen) on both coasts. Her current interest in food is learning to eat for health and wellness, while at the same time enjoying the pleasures of the table. Deborah loves experimenting and developing new recipes. As Julia Child once said, “Everything in moderation including butter.” Deborah can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.