calabasa, aka squash, aka pumpkin soup!

Over the past holidays a lot of people down here in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico were lamenting about not being able to find pumpkin.


A pumpkin is really just a winter squash, family Curcubita.

The one they want, wanted is the traditional orange pumpkin widely used in the USofA, and Canada.

I tried many times to suggest they look at our local calabasa castilla, as an excellent alternative.


Many people, were not swayed, not the same thing, wouldn’t be the same, wouldn’t taste the same, blah, blah, blah.

I love these castillas and look forward to fall, well our equivalent of fall for them to be readily available.

I make all sorts of stuff, I chop them in to chunks and roast them and eat them just like that with any variety of adornment, sometimes a drizzle of olive oil and a bit of salt, Tom likes them slathered with butter salt and pepper, sometimes I toast some chopped pecans and sprinkle those on with a bit of cinnamon and maple syrup or grated piloncillo (which is an equivalent to brown sugar).  I also make custards, my preference to pie since I don’t typically care for pie crust, nor do I like to make pie crust.

I use most winter squash interchangeably.  Whichever ones I find I use, not important the recipe.  In fact a friend had grown a bunch of different winter squash and gifted me quite a few, look how gorgeous!

I roast them and make soup, in fact this was the last batch of soup I made –

Here are a selection of the squash I was gifted


 I washed them, and halved them, pulled out and reserved the seeds and stringy bits, and then piled them on a roasting tray,  actually a cookie sheet, drizzled with a bit of olive oil and set them in the oven to roast.  If I had to  I’d say 325f for an hour…


Look at them, beautiful.  Once they cooled I scooped out the flesh.  Some I packed away and put in the freezer for later, but some became a fabulous soup.

IMG_0663 IMG_0664

For the soup I sautéed a small chopped onion, and a tablespoon of grated garlic.


 While that was cooking I processed the pumpkin with broth, I use a veg broth, but you can use chicken if you must.


Then add the puree in with the sauteed veg.  Heat through, add more broth for the consistency you prefer, season with salt and pepper to taste.  For me, I also add a bit of chili flakes, a squeeze or two of lime juice, and a bit of nutmeg.


While that is all heating through put the seeds you reserved from the squash on a cookie sheet, I used the same sheet I had just pulled the roasted squash from, drizzled with a bit more olive oil, and some pure sea salt.  Roasted till toasty brown.


my fabulous squash, or pumpkin soup was served with a dollop of fresh yougurt, a sprinkle of fresh roasted seeds, and a few slices of crusty baguette!


when I make the soup to have as a meal I keep it thicker and chunkier.

I made a variation of this soup for a potluck meal to be served as a starter and added extra broth so it was soupier, everything else the same, except I think I used jocoque, which Is sort of like sour cream to top the party soup.

Bon Apetit!

About Debi in Merida

I moved from Colorado Springs, Colorado USA to Merida, Yucatan, MX in January 2006. I love to read, garden, travel, and hang out with friends. Then in 2016 I moved to Richmond, Virginia, USA. Culture shock continues.
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5 Responses to calabasa, aka squash, aka pumpkin soup!

  1. I think Calabaza (squash) is consumed by most Mexicans in the form of calabacitas tiernas (zucchini), flor de calabaza (squash flower), Calabaza en Tacha (very similar to your recipe sweetened with piloncillo) mostly consumed around Easter and Pepitas or semillas de calabaza (pumpkin seeds). By the way tacha means from the “tacho” and tacho is the recipient where the sugarcane juice is boiled to make piloncillo. Trapiche is the mill to extract the sugarcane juice and the place or factory is known as Molienda.This is one of many Mexican recipes for Calabaza en Tacha

  2. When I describe our way of eating squash with butter, salt and pepper, pureed or as a soup, to traditional Mexicans who only know it candied, they’ll shoot a look deserved only for deviants. BTW, cooking chunks of squash in the pressure cooker saves a lot of time and energy. You can always finish it off in the oven.

    • oh, I love calabasa dulce, makes a great dessert item, of course I use half the sugar of the recipe! I love papaya dulce too! pressure cooker is a good idea! Thanks!

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