Selasa, 08 Oktober 2013

Roasted pumpkin soup with almonds and spicy dukkah oil a la Silvena Rowe

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From the recipe archives, originally posted in October 2011. Totally worth making!!! 
PS Check the comments section - Silvena Rowe herself left a comment - how cool is that!?

I spotted this soup recipe in Silvena Rowe's beautiful Orient Express: Fast food from the eastern Mediterranean, one of my recent cookbook acquisitions. I've been making various pumpkin soups and certainly wasn't looking for a new soup recipe, but this one caught my eye because of almonds. There are almonds both inside the soup and in the dukkah-mixture (Not sure what dukkah is? You can read more about it here). We cooked four recipes from Silvena's book last Sunday (see the menu below, scribbled on our newly painted kitchen wall), and the soup was very well received. The almonds add a thickness and a lovely texture to the soup, the dark red pomegranate seeds are a true eye candy, and the dukkah oil is a wonderful flavour enhancer. I more or less followed the recipe, though I used a bit more pumpkin and less chicken stock, and used some coriander/cilantro for garnish.

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You can either use any orange-fleshed winter squash here - butternut squash or a Hokkaido pumpkin (potimarron in French). Well, you could use any winter squash, but orange-fleshed one looks prettiest :)

More pumpkin soup recipes @ Nami-Nami:
Pumpkin soup with nutmeg
Pumpkin soup with thyme
Estonian pumpkin and semolina soup

Roasted pumpkin/butternut squash soup with dukkah
(Röstitud kõrvitsa supp mandlite ja vürtsiõliga)
Serves six

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For the dukkah oil:
50 g while almonds
1 Tbsp coriander seeds
0.5 Tbsp cumin seeds
0.25 Tbsp fennel seeds
5-6 Tbsp olive oil

For the soup:
1.2 kg orange-fleshed pumpkin or squash
8 fresh sage leaves, chopped
2 onions, peeled and quartered
6 garlic cloves, peeled
4 Tbsp olive oil
750 ml chicken stock (3 cups)
100 g ground almonds
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve:
pomegranate seeds
fresh coriander/cilantro leaves

Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F.

Peel the pumpkin, remove the seeds and cut the flesh into 2-3 cm (1 inch) chunks. Place onto a large roasting tray alongside the onion quarters, garlic cloves and chopped sage leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil:

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Cook the vegetables in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, until the pumpkin is soft. Remove from the oven and cool.

Make the dukkah oil while the pumpkin is roasting. Place the spices and almonds onto a small dry frying pan and cook over a moderate heat until fragrant and slightly golden (keep an eye on them, as the spices burn easily!):

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Using a pestle and mortar (or a small food processor), bruise the spices and almonds until you've got a coarsely ground mixture. Add the oil, put aside.

When the vegetables are cooked, place them into a food processor or a blender. Blend to a purée, adding a little of the vegetable stock if necessary. Return the pumpkin purée into the saucepan, add the rest of the stock. Bring into a slow boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the soup is smooth and slightly thickened. Stir in the almonds, season to taste.

To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Spoon some dukkah oil on top, sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and garnish with some cilantro/coriander.

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