For me, making autumnal soups embodies the crisp air and cozy sweater feeling of Fall – I find it so satisfying to settle in with a warm, homemade bowl of roasted and pureed squash or root vegetable soup. The recipe below is one of my go-to favorites, with its rich and earthy peanut flavor which, when paired with toasted dark rye croutons, makes for an absolutely delicious meal that warms up just as well (if not even better!) the next day.
1 large onion, chopped
1 T. canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 t. minced fresh ginger root
1 1/2 t. ground cumin
1 1/2 t. ground coriander
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/8 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1 t. kosher salt
3 medium tomatoes, chopped (orange heirloom ones, optional)
1 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled, cut in 1" cubes, and roasted
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
4 1/2 c. chicken stock
1/2 c. unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
1/3 c. peanut butter (either smooth or chunky)
garnish of fresh chopped cilantro, tomato and peanuts
Sauté the chopped onion in oil in medium-high heated large saucepan for 5 minutes. Mix in garlic, spices and salt and sauté about 5 minutes more. Add chopped tomatoes, sweet potatoes and carrot; stir to mix and cook 10 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to boil; reduce heat to simmer for 45 minutes.
When vegetables are very tender, remove saucepan from heat. Let cool to room temperature if possible and add by cupful to blender (or food processor) to puree; add 1/3 c. peanuts and peanut butter and continue to blend until almost smooth. Reheat as needed for desired servings -- adjusting seasoning to taste. Garnish bowlfuls with cilantro, tomato and peanuts.
Dark Rye Croutons
Several 3/4-inch slices of dark rye bread (aka black bread)
2 T. olive oil
1/4 t. each of Kosher salt, coarsely ground pepper and garlic powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut each thick slice of bread into cube-size pieces and toss on parchment-lined jellyroll pan with oil and seasonings. Bake until toasted through, approximately 15 mins., redistributing croutons once midway through baking.
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