Day 350: Gypsy Pot ♥
Every-Day Ingredients in Uncommon Combination

Gypsy Pot, a hearty soup with butternut squash, pear, seasonal vegetables, thickened with a garlicky-almond paste. Tips, nutrition, WW points at A Veggie Venture.
graphic button small size size 10 Today's hearty vegetable recipe: A concept recipe, happy with addition and subtractions based on what's on hand and what's in season. Weight Watchers Friendly. Easily made vegetarian or Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real". graphic button small size size 10

~recipe & photo updated 2014~
~more recently updated recipes~

Original 2006: I fell in love with the name, Gypsy Pot. I swooned over the everyday ingredients in uncommon combination. In short order, I moved to the kitchen to begin the peeling and chopping for a somehow completely familiar and yet altogether new soup that is a Gypsy Pot. It's earthy peasant food and something sublimely sophisticated both at once. The inspiration comes from The Traveler's Lunchbox, whose own inspiration comes from Anya von Bremzen's The New Spanish Table.

NEXT TIME This isn't a soup to start when you're in a rush, instead one to savor the experience of cutting and chopping and cooking. It takes 20 minutes alone to peel a &^%&^^%$$ butternut squash. (I've seen the chunks at Trader Joe's but think they look nasty!) While the soup first simmered, I should have kept right on with the garlic/almond and onion/tomato mixtures which took longer than expected.

Update 2014: A romantic allure still attracts me to Gypsy Pot. But this time, I streamlined the recipe to limit the hands-on time and yes, I've now conquered the butternut squash, now I can wrangle one into neat cubes in five minutes flat, you can too. :-) Just check out How to Cut, Peel & Cube a Butternut Squash and Keep All Ten Fingers. Another thing. The first time I made this soup it was late winter, it was a decidedly wintry pot. But this time I made it in September with fresh vegetables from the garden. Again, swoon ...

Two things make this soup different than others. The first is fruit, two under-ripe pears that add sweetness but keep their structure. The second is a gorgeous garlic-almond paste that both thickens and seasons the soup.


Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 60 minutes
Makes 12 cups

3 tablespoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves, skins peeled off, cloves flattened with back of a knife
1/4 cup toasted almonds
1 large onion, diced
1 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
1 butternut squash, about 2 pounds, cut into cubes (How to Cut, Peel & Cube a Butternut Squash and Keep All Ten Fingers)
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 under-ripe still-firm pears, skins on, cut into cubes
15 ounces canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Garlic-almond paste
8 cups good stock
1/2 cup green beans, ends snipped, cut into bite-size lengths
2 ripe tomatoes, diced (or 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes)
Salt & pepper throughout

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
Fresh mint, optional

In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil until shimmery, stir in garlic cloves and almonds, let sizzle until cloves begin to turn golden. With a slotted spoon, transfer garlic and almonds to a small food processor, leaving the oil behind. Process the garlic-almond mixture until it forms a grainy paste; set aside. Stir the onion and paprika into the hot oil, let cook, stirring often, until onion turns golden.

Add squash, carrots, pears, chickpeas, garlic-almond paste and stock to the pot as they're prepped. Bring to a boil and let simmer until squash and carrots are soft, about 20 minutes. Stir in beans, let cook most of the way. Stir in tomatoes and warm through.

To finish, stir in red wine vinegar and fresh mint.

graphic button small size size 10 OLIVE OIL Usually, I'd drop the oil back to a single tablespoon but it really works here, creating a rich, meal-worthy soup.
graphic button small size size 10 IS THAT TURKEY? Careful examination will show that there's turkey in the soup in the photography, none shown in the recipe. That's because when I remade Gypsy Pot in 2014, I pulled a bag of turkey stock out of the freezer and much to my chagrine, learned that "someone" (not me!) had bagged the stock before straining it. Turns out, however, the turkey meat was quite wonderful in the soup.
graphic button small size size 10 WHAT KIND OF STOCK? I used chicken and turkey, but use vegetable broth for a vegan soup.
graphic button small size size 10 HEAT THE STOCK Save some time by heating the stock in the microwave before adding it to the soup pot.
graphic button small size size 10 SEASON, SEASON, SEASON With each addition, season the soup with salt and pepper. With unseasoned homemade stock, you'll find yourself adding quite a lot of salt and pepper both.
graphic button small size size 10 FRESH MINT I found mint essential in 2006 but in 2014, with two big pots full of mint just outside the kitchen, forgot to add the mint and didn't miss it!

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Still Hungry?

~ Cabbage & White Bean Stew ~
~ Peasant Cabbage Tomato Soup ~
~ Greens 'n' All Beet Soup ~
~ more soup recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ How to Make Homemade Vegetable Soup ~
"Master Recipe"
~ Laura's Healthy Carrot Soup ~
~ Quick Cauliflower Soup or Quick Broccoli Soup ~
~ Spinach Soup with Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs ~
~ more soup recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column

A Veggie Venture is home of 'veggie evangelist' Alanna Kellogg and the
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2006, 2014

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Alanna - I have used the pre-cut butternut squash before and the dish came out just fine! I was apprehensive at first, but was satisfied with the outcome.

  2. Joe - thanks for the encouragement, I will definitely try the pre-cut. Somehow I've avoided finger-risking butternut squash peeling all year!

  3. Dear Alanna, forgive me for taking so long to get back to you, but I am so glad you enjoyed the gypsy pot! It is a wonderful recipe, made even more wonderful by how chock-full of good, healthy stuff it is. Thanks for your wonderful write-up, and somehow I think you've captured the essence even better by improvising your way to a new version... Something tells me that those gypsy stew-makers are no strangers to improvisation themselves! ;)

    By the way, when it comes to peeling butternut squash, I can't recommend highly enough a tool I recently bought. It's a serrated vegetable peeler from Messermeister (here's a link), which is so sharp and powerful, it makes peeling a tough squash as easy as peeling a carrot. Honestly, I don't know how I lived without one of these...

  4. When do the pears go into the Gypsy Pot, and peeled or no?

  5. Anonymous ~ Aiii, good catch, thank you, thank you! Yes, the pears go in with their skins on. I’ve adjusted the recipe to show the pears going in after the squash, carrots, etc. -- they will “melt” into the Gypsy Pot but there’s no reason to cook the bejeezus out of them. Enjoy!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna