Sunday, December 30, 2007

Kabocha squash and fennel soup with candied pumpkin seeds

I received Sunday Suppers at Lucques as a holiday present, and this is the first recipe I've made from the book. Kabocha squash and fennel are caramelized in the oven and pureed with toasted ground fennel seeds, onions, fresh thyme, butter, chile de arbol and chicken stock to make a thick soup. This soup has a complex flavor from the sweetness of the squash, earthiness of the fennel and heat of the chile. The recipe says to serve the soup topped with creme fraiche, but I used the sour cream that I already had on hand.

The candied pumpkin seeds are amazing - the seeds are lightly toasted in butter and coated with sugar, paprika, toasted cumin, cayenne, kosher salt and a touch of honey. They have a great balance of sugar, salt and spice.

This is a fun twist on your standard winter squash soup, it will definitely be going into the regular rotation. I am also planning to try the pumpkin seed coating on some walnuts or pecans.

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