Sunday, April 6, 2014

Quibebe- Pumpkin Soup- Brazilian Food Recipes


Quibebe is a dish from Northeastern Brazil. It is a kind of winter squash soup. In its native country, the soup is often served as a precursor to a larger entrée. Butternut squash is the main ingredient in quibebe and flavorful accompaniments such as onions and peppers are often added to the dish. The basis of all true quibebe is butternut squash.

What is a Butternut Squash?

The Cucurbita genus is an important source of human food and the fruits are good sources of several nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, dietary fiber, niacin, folic acid, and iron. In addition they are free of fat and cholesterol. The plants also contain the toxins cucurmosin and cucurbitacin. Medical uses of the plant include treating skin conditions and improving visual acuity.

Cucurbita moschata or butternut squash is native to Latin America but the precise location of origin is uncertain. It has been present in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Peru for 4,000–6,000 years and has spread to Bolivia, Ecuador, Panama, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela. This species is closely related to C. argyrosperma. A variety known as the Seminole Pumpkin has been cultivated in Florida since before the arrival of Columbus. Its leaves are 20 to 30 centimeters (7.9 to 11.8 in) wide. It generally grows at low altitudes in hot climates with heavy rainfall, but some varieties have been found above 2,200 meters (7,200 ft). Groups of C. moschata include: Cheese, Crookneck (C. moschata), and Bell.


Unlike many other butternut squash soups, quibebe has a thick texture, more like a purée than a soup. The dish originated in northeastern Brazil, and like many recipes that have been around for centuries, there are many variations on its preparation. Brazilian families often have specialized recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. Quibebe is always served hot.

The squash is peeled and chopped into small squares. Cooks pressed for time can opt to buy pre-chopped butternut squash in the produce section of most large grocery stores. The squash is then boiled on a stovetop in water until soft. It is mashed by hand or puréed in a food processor to achieve a smooth consistency. Pumpkin, or another winter squash, can be used in lieu of butternut squash.

After the squash has been prepared, numerous other flavorings and spices are added. Garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper are common spices found in the dish. Some prefer a spicier dish and add red chili to the mixture. Tomatoes and corn are also often found in quibabe to give the dish more vegetables and vary its texture. The ingredients are combined in a large saucepan before serving, and some stock liquid may be added to thin its consistency.

Brazilian cuisine often varies by region, depending on the availability of crops in that particular part of the country. The ready availability of butternut squash in the northeastern part of the country led to the popularity of quibebe. This section of Brazil enjoys a tropical climate, allowing for the growth of many different fruits and vegetables. The flavor of the dish is influenced by dishes found in Africa as are many popular foods in Brazil’s northeast region. Quibebe is also often eaten in Argentina.

Served with crusty Italian bread, this hearty soup makes a delicious vegetarian meal. Or try serving quibebe with angú.


Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 35 to 40 minutes
Serves 4 to 6


3 tbsp. olive oil or butter
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
8 oz. (1 c.) canned diced tomatoes, drained
1 fresh hot pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
2 lb. Brazilian pumpkin or squash, cut into chunks*
4 c. water or vegetable broth
1/4 tsp. sugar
salt to taste
black pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
fresh parsley, chopped (optional)


1) In a medium stockpot, heat oil or butter over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, tomato, and hot pepper (if using). Cook 15 minutes, or until mixture begins to thicken.

2) Add pumpkin and water or broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Add sugar, salt, and pepper and cover. Simmer 20 to 25 minutes, or until pumpkin becomes very soft and begins to break apart. Use a whisk or a potato masher to break up any remaining large chunks.

3) Serve hot, garnished with cheese and parsley if desired.

Try this other Brazilian food recipe next time... Pastéis- Turnovers

Cooking Tips and Tricks

Brazilian pumpkin, or abóbora, is more like squash than North American pumpkin. In place of genuine abóbora, acorn or butternut squash will work fine for this recipe. To use the squash, cut it in half and remove the seeds with a spoon. Carefully use a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife to remove the skin, and cut flesh into 1-in.-square chunks. Squash have thick skin and tough flesh, and they can be difficult to peel and cut. You may want to ask an adult to help you with these steps.

Get all the delicious and Brazilian recipes here... Brazilian Food Recipes

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