Thursday, May 27, 2010

Warm and Delicious...and a little nutty...just like you

1 Butternut Squash peeled and diced, about 4-5 cups, reserving seeds
1 t. cumin seeds
1 t. crushed red chilis
Olive oil
2 Celery stalks, trimmed, finely chopped
3 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ c. rough chopped parsley
1 28 oz. can tomatoes
2 small Red onions, finely chopped
2 Qt. Chicken or Vegetable Stock
2 15 oz. cans Chickpeas, drained
2 t. each Fennel Seeds, Sesame Seeds and Poppy Seeds
2/3 C. sliced almonds
Zest of 2 Lemons
3 T. Fresh Mint, leaves chopped
3 T. Fresh Italain parsley leaves
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Put the butternut squash, cumin and dried chili on a baking tray. Drizzle with oil, mix together and roast in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes or until cooked through. Heat a large saucepan over medium-low heat and pour in a splash of olive oil. Add the celery, garlic, parsley and 2/3 of the onion. Cook gently with a lid on until softened. Drop in the butternut squash and sweat for 5 minutes, then pour in the stock and tomato juices. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the chickpeas and simmer for 15 minutes more.

Toast the reserved pumpkin seeds with the fennel seeds, sesame, poppy seeds and almonds in the oven on a baking tray for 3-4 minutes until nicely colored all over. Mix lemon zest, parsley leaves and mint. Add remaining onion to herb mixture. Season soup well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Puree half in a blender until thick, but still with chunky bits. Add half pureed mixture back into saucepan. Keep warm. Ladle soup into bowls. Stir once then sprinkle with toasted seeds and nuts followed by zesty herb, onion mixture. Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy!