Monday, November 5, 2018

A Soulful Soup That's Still Comforting

With the chilly days of fall finally here, soup season is in full swing. But Tonia's Kitchen wants to take you beyond the norms of the fall classics (chicken and tomato) and tell you about a soup that really sings. Samantha Ferraro, who wrote the cookbook, The Weeknight Mediterranean Kitchen, told Tonia about a delicious recipe for Cumin-scented squash and lentil soup. She says it's a creamy, delicious, nearly-luxurious soup for those fall nights, that really gives off a unique flavor. She starts by roasting the squash, then adding red lentils and a variety of spices.  Top it off with some crisy chickpeas, or, for a really exotic flavor...harisa sauce. That's a red pepper sauce that's very thick. Samantha says there's a recipe for that as well, which follow below

  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 3 fresno peppers (serrano peppers may be substituted)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • salt, as needed
  • Preheat oven to broil or 550 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil. Place the bell peppers on the baking sheet. Wrap the garlic cloves in a small piece of foil and place on the baking sheet with the peppers. This will ensure that the garlic doesn't burn to quickly. 
    Broil the peppers and garlic until the entire pepper is softened and you can see black char, about 10 to 12 minutes. Once done, remove the peppers from the oven and cover with another piece of foil and allow to cool enough to handle. This also helps make the outer charreed skin easier to remove. 
    Once cool enough to touch, remove the skin, seeds and stems from the peppers and place the flesh in a food processor along with the roasted garlic cloves. 
    Add the tomato paste, cumin, paprika, oil and lemon juice and zest to the food processor and pulse until there is a smooth yet coarse consistency. Taste for seasoning and add salt as needed. 
    Pour the harissa into an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
For the soup
  • acorn squash
  • ground cumin
  • red lentils
  • red onions
  • paprika
  • thyme
  • turmeric
  • vegetable stock
  • Fresno chiles
  • cooked chickpeas