Chef Pierre Thiam's take on this classic autumn soup uses Scotch bonnet chiles for spice and nutmeg for warmth. In Senegal, a similar soup is said to prevent hangovers, so you'll find hawkers selling it outside the bars late at night. Use your favorite type of pumpkin or other fall squashes to substitute for the butternut in this recipe, if you like. For a vegan soup, substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock.
SERVES 6 to 8 - 45 MINUTES
2 tbsp. red palm oil or vegetable oil, plus more for drizzling
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 vine-ripe tomatoes, cored, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped
1 Scotch bonnet or habanero chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
4 cups chicken stock
1 (2 1⁄2-lb.) butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
In a large saucepan, heat the palm oil over medium-high. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and chile and cook until the tomatoes break down slightly, 5 minutes. Pour in the stock and add the squash. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook until the squash is tender, about 15 minutes.
Working in batches, transfer the soup to a blender and purée until smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle with more palm oil before serving.
- Saveur Magazine