Spiced ambercup squash soup

Makes 8 cups



1 3lb
ambercup squash
3 tbsp
canola oil, divided
large onion, chopped
garlic cloves, minced
3 cups
no salt added vegetable broth
Empire apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 tsp
grated fresh ginger
1 tsp
Madras curry powder, (see note)
1/2 tsp
1/4 tsp
nutmeg, freshly grated
1/2 tsp
iodized salt
1/4 tsp
freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tbsp
amber or pure dark maple syrup
2 cups
skim milk
1/8-1/4 tsp
chives, for garnish (optional)


  • PREHEAT oven to 375°F (190°C). With a large sturdy knife, cut the squash in half and remove seeds and pulp. Peel and dice into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks; place into a large roasting pan. Drizzle with 1 1/2 Tbsp (22 mL) oil and toss to coat. Roast for 45 minutes or until the squash is soft and beginning to brown slightly. Toss occasionally throughout the roasting process to prevent burning.
  • WHEN the squash is cooked, heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the rest of the oil plus the onion and garlic, sauteing until soft and slightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and add the squash.
  • PLACE the empty roasting pan on a separate element over medium heat and pour in broth. Once the liquid begins to boil, reduce to simmer, scrapping up any bits for added flavour. Pour into the large saucepan.
  • ADD apple, ginger, curry, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Return to heat and bring to a gentle boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer until the apple is soft, about 15 minutes.
  • ADD maple syrup, milk and Tabasco and stir in well. Remove from heat. Using a hand held immersion blender, puree the soup OR transfer to a blender or food processor and puree in smaller batches and return soup to saucepan. Garnish with whole chives if desired. (See picture.)
  • REHEAT if necessary; serve or store in the fridge for up to two days. Freeze any leftovers up to three months.


Madras Curry Powder: In traditional South Asian cuisine, a curry is a dish cooked in a sauce. To most Canadians however, a curry is a powder that you add to a dish to give it heat. Curry powders are created by blending many spices together, and blends of curry powders range from spicy to very spicy, depending on what area that curry blend was created. Sweating cools you down, so areas that are very hot tend to have curry blends that produce sweating. Madras is an area in India that is very hot, hence this blend is fairly spicy.

Ingredient Note: Ambercup squash is a deep orange squash that looks like its cousin the buttercup squash. Its flesh is darker in colour and slightly sweeter in flavour. Can’t find an Ambercup? Buttercup (or their more distant cousin Butternut) will also work for this recipe.

PHEc Tip: This soup may be quite thick depending on the type and age of the squash. Add more broth, water or milk until you reach desired thickness.

“I was never a fan of squash but thanks to my Grandmother’s encouragement I finally relented and began to grow a few varieties. I found that I actually liked the darker, denser and sweeter heritage-type squashes; enter turban, buttercup and ambercup. Then several years ago I tried a cup of butternut squash soup at a local restaurant and though it was delicious. I left thinking I could create something even better. After several experiments using ambercup squash, this soup was created, a fusion of spices and homegrown produce that has become a family favourite.” — Jennifer Goodwin, PHEc

Recipe from Homegrown, by Mairlyn Smith, Whitecap Books Ltd.


Calories 176, Protein 4.3 g, Carbohydrates 31 g, Fat 5.7 g, Fibre 4 g, Sodium 202 mg.
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