Roasting the squash in a bed of spent coffee grounds doesn’t make the squash taste like coffee, rather it heightens the squash’s own flavor. Try the same method with a different type of winter squash, sweet potatoes (they’ll pick up more of a pronounced coffee flavor due to their thinner skin), or a mix of both squash and sweet potatoes. Alternatively, skip this entirely, and either roast as usual or add raw, cubed squash with the broth and just cook in the soup. (Just promise you’ll try coffee-roasting them another time!)
I’m always all for recipe riffing, especially if it can help rescue odds and ends in your fridge—add a handful of spinach or leftover roast chicken. Just remember to give raw ingredients time to cook and add already cooked items near the end. Feel free to use the pasta shape of your choice, too—I just recommend cooking the noodles on their own, so leftovers can be stored separately (no soggy noodles here). And a sprinkle of crumbled goat cheese or a shower of shredded Parmesan would be a nice garnish.
I like my noodle soups with a high ingredient-to-broth ratio, if you like yours brothier, plan for another cup or two of broth.
Test Kitchen Notes
This recipe is shared in partnership with Imperfect Foods. —The Editors
- Prep time 15 minutes
- Cook time 1 hour 15 minutes
- Serves 6
1 1/2 cups
spent coffee grounds (about 9 ounces)
medium-small butternut squash (or part of a larger one, about 1 1/2 pounds)
extra-virgin olive oil
medium onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
celery ribs, finely diced (about 3/4 cup; the heart and/or leaves are okay, too!)
large carrot, finely diced (about 1 1/4 cups)
large garlic clove, minced
fresh rosemary, minced
red pepper flakes
broth (vegetable or chicken)
fresh lemon juice
spaghetti, broken into small pieces and cooked per package instructions
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place coffee grounds in a small, oven-safe dish, like a loaf pan. Pierce the squash once or twice with a sharp knife and gently nestle the squash into the grounds. Roast squash until it can be easily pierced with a knife, but is still somewhat firm (45 minutes to 1 hour), flipping the squash over halfway through cooking. Set aside. When cool enough to handle, brush off any clinging coffee grounds, then peel and chop squash into a small dice.
- Meanwhile, in a medium, heavy-bottomed pot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil until shimmering, then add the onion, celery, and carrot. Sauté until onions are translucent and just starting to take on a little bit of color, about 15 minutes.
- Add the garlic, thyme, rosemary, and red pepper, and sauté for another minute or two.
- Add squash and broth, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Then reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes (this will depend on how cooked your squash was when you removed it from the oven, and how soft you like your vegetables to be). Stir in the fresh lemon juice, and taste. Your broth plays a big role in this soup, so you might find you need a bit more lemon juice or a little salt to make the flavors sing.
- To serve, spoon some noodles into each bowl, ladle in the soup, and then drizzle with olive oil.