The Mozambican who inspired this recipe cooks it differently each time he makes it, depending on what is fresh in the market and what spices he can get. The squash most frequently available in Mozambique is similar to the West Indian or Caribbean variety that can be found in parts of Canada and the U.S. Butternut is another good choice but any winter squash will do. It’s the method that’s important here.


1 - 2 lbs. squash, peeled and cubed

1 bay leaf

4 or 5 large garlic cloves, crushed

1 tblsp. onion, minced

1 tblsp. oil or butter

1 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated

╝ tsp. curry powder

1/8 tsp. turmeric

1/8 tsp. paprika

1 - 3 tblsp. lemon juice


Peel, cube and boil the squash in enough water to cover. (If your squash is extremely hard, you may boil it whole or in chunks until it becomes soft enough to peel and chop.) When the pieces are very soft, lift them out, leaving water in the pot. Mash squash with a fork, or put through a sieve, and return to cooking water. Simmer gently, adding the bay leaf.

Meanwhile, sautÚ the crushed garlic and the onion in oil or butter. Combine the remaining spices and add them to the butter mixture. SautÚ over low heat for 5 - 10 minutes until flavors have blended well. Then spoon a little of the squash liquid into the skillet with the spice/butter; stir and simmer gently until combined, and pour into the soup pot. Add water to make about 6 cups and stir in lemon juice to taste.

Variations : Chicken stock may be used instead of water, and other vegetbles may be added. Among other spices that work well in squash soup are coriander, fenner, celery seed, rosemary and cayenne pepper.


Serves 4 - 6.


country : Mozambique

course : soup


source : The Africa News Cookbook : African Cooking for Western Kitchens / edited by Tami Hultman