I woke to a crisp cool gorgeous November morning today. Sula was snoring away, so I stole a few more minutes, snuggled under my duvet, before she would wake and bark her demand to go on a walk. I thought about how it would be waking up in my new apartment next month. I imagined the sunlight streaming in from my back wall of glass windows. I thought of the kitchen. The kitchen of my dreams. Now a reality.
That got me thinking about what I would cook in that kitchen. Winter is coming so I imagine its going to be a lot of my favorite food for awhile…SOUP. With that thought, I decided to make Butternut Squash Soup today. However, I was craving something spicy so I took squash soup to a new sexier version of itself with lots of spice and sass.
Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
1 Medium Size Butternut Squash
1 Red Onion, Rough Chopped
4 Garlic Cloves, Whole
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Tsp. Cumin Seeds
1 Tsp. Red Chili Powder (or flakes)
1 Tbsp. Red Chili Paste
6 Cups Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
1/2 Cup hazelnuts, Rough Chopped
4 Strips Prosciutto
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
1 Dollup Creme Fraiche
Peel the skin off the squash, scoop out seeds and rough chop into small chunks. Spread squash out over a roasting pan with a glug of olive oil, salt, pepper and some chili powder and roast at 475 degrees for about 40 minutes until soft.
Meanwhile in a heavy bottom pot add a glug of olive oil, the red onion, garlic cloves, cumin seeds, chili paste and saute over medium heat until onions are browned. Add the roasted squash when ready and give a good stir. Add the stock, stir well and let cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes to meld the flavors.
Using a handheld blender, puree the soup. Return to heat and season to taste.
In a small saute pan add the hazelnuts and 1/2 tsp. maple syrup. Over high heat toast the hazelnuts. Remove and cool. Brush the prosciutto strips with maple syrup and broil til crispy.
Fill a beautiful bowl with soup. Top with a dollup of creme fraiche (or yoghurt), garnish with hazelnuts and crumbled prosciutto.
Savour the sassy spicy squash soup slowly.