An Agrawal Family Favorite

UMKC faculty and staff share cozy winter dishes

While winter break may not look the same this year, there's something cozy about preparing – and then eating – a great dish. So we asked UMKC faculty and staff if they could share recipes for some of their favorite winter treats.

Sue and Mauli Agrawal and their children, Serena and Ethan
Sue and Mauli Agrawal and their children, Serena and Ethan

Pumpkin-butternut squash soup is a traditional holiday and cold-weather favorite for the Agrawal family. Sue Agrawal, wife of Chancellor Mauli Agrawal, shared the recipe for the soup that was handed down from her mother.

Do you enjoy cooking or baking? Why?  

I do enjoy cooking and baking, mostly because I am usually doing it for people I care for. We have always made having a family dinner a priority, and it’s nice to sit down to a home-cooked meal together. When our son and daughter were in college, I had fun sending them care packages of homemade cookies, brownies, and granola bars. Plus, I have a sweet tooth, so eating the batter is a plus.

What’s a dish you enjoy making this time of year?

We don’t have many specific winter baking traditions, but always make decorated sugar cookies in December. For savory food, we like pumpkin-butternut squash soup.

Do you have any stories attached to this particular recipe?

My mother started a tradition of serving a pumpkin squash soup for both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners when I was a child.  I don’t necessarily make the soup for a holiday meal, but I do make it more often in the winter. We like the warm spices and usually make a big pot so there are leftovers.

Want to share a recipe with your fellow Roos? Submit yours to the UMKC Taste of Home cookbook project. 

Gingered Pumpkin-Squash Soup

2 Tablespoons oil
1 large onion, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red (cayenne) pepper
¼ teaspoon mace or nutmeg
6 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 ½ cups pumpkin
¾ cup parsnips, peeled and chopped
5 (14 ½-ounce) cans low sodium chicken broth
1 cup milk

Heat oil in large stockpot over medium heat. Add onion and all spices/seasonings and cook 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 5 minutes longer. Add vegetables and broth, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Let cool slightly, then puree soup in batches in blender or food processor. Return pureed mixture to pot, stir in milk and heat to serving temperature, stirring occasionally.

Published: Dec 14, 2020
Posted In: Our People