SQUASH SOUP WITH CORIANDER

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1 clove garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 medium sugar pumpkin

4 orange-fleshed sweet potatoes

1 large onion, chopped

1 ½ quarts chicken broth

 

Heat oven to 400 ºF (200 ºC).

In a mortar or spice grinder, grind coriander, cumin, oregano, fennel, red pepper, salt and peppercorns into a coarse powder. Blend in garlic and 1 tablespoon olive oil to form a paste.

Wash pumpkin and cut into 2-inch wide wedges, scraping away seeds. Peel potatoes and cut each potato lengthwise into 6 wedges. Smear the pumpkin and the potatoes with the spice paste and place in a baking dish.

Roast in 400º oven 30 to 40 minutes, until tender and just beginning to blacken at the thinnest points.

Meanwhile, in a large pot over medium heat, cook the onion in the remaining one tablespoon olive oil until translucent.

Chop pumpkin and potatoes into smaller chunks and puree in a blender or food processor with some of the chicken broth until smooth. Be sure to scrape the roasted spice paste off the baking dish and include it in the puree. It may be necessary to deglaze the dish with a little chicken broth.

Pour the pureed vegetables into the pot with the onions, and stir in as much additional chicken stock as needed to achieve the desired consistency. Heat through.

 

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