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roasted pumpkin soup with dukkah

While my friend Kristin was traveling a few years ago, we had a couple of unspoken agreements that seemed to guide our cross-continental email and text exchanges. One, no editing needed, just type and connect. (Hello personal journal time for the both of us!) Two, tell me always what you are eating and with whom. There is so much to learn from living in a new land or knowing someone who does. (That’s me!) On numerous occasions, I remember Kristin telling me about the baked eggs with dukkah. At the time I didn’t have context for either. So when I started brainstorming all things “Kristin” for her baby shower, the research and testing began.

Dukkah is an Egyptian nut and spice blend but well known in Australia as well and often served sprinkled on baked eggs. I couldn’t track down a worthy pre-made dukkah blend anywhere, and finding a specific recipe wasn’t any easier. I did see Shelia Prakash’s questions to store owners in Egypt (where she couldn’t secure dukkah as well), and she learned that Egyptians tend to make their own house blends. After experimenting with it a few times, I like the idea of making it fresh, using what you have for nuts and tweaking the flavors and spice in the direction you want it to go. Plus the scents of roasting spices and nuts wafting through your house? You want this.

I whipped up another batch this past week and mailed some samples off with my belated spoons.🤦🏻‍♀️It’s a perfect fall addition to roasted squash or pumpkin soup.

You could also top olive oil with dukkah as a dish for dipping bread or add it to your next cheese board with olives, soft cheeses, meats, and toasts.

dukkah
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Makes: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup hazelnuts - blanched or with skins on
  • ½ cup shelled pistachios - I can only find salted and roasted
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • pinch of cayenne - or more as you wish
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • pepper - about 15 cracks
  • ½ teaspoon salt (more if needed)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, lay pine nuts, hazelnuts, cumin, and coriander. Toast for 8-10 minutes until pine nuts are lightly brown, stirring nuts halfway through. At the halfway point, add the paprika as well and continue toasting.
  3. Allow nuts and spices to cool, then dump parchment of goods into a food processor along with the pistachios and add a pinch of cayenne, along with the salt and pepper.
  4. Blend until all nuts are roughly chopped, a few seconds only. I like mine with various size chunks and not just down to powder if possible.

This soup topped with dukkah and gluten-free grilled cheese with gruyere and apples was last night’s dinner hit. I promise you want this too.
roasted pumpkin soup with dukkah
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Makes: Serves 8
Ingredients
  • 2 sugar pumpkins roasted, about 4 cups of puree (you can use canned or 4 cups of squash puree)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 apples peeled, cored, and chopped - I like sweet honey crisp for this recipe
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
  • 1 cup coconut milk
Instructions
To make pumpkin puree:
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. You’ll need a pan for roasting, cheesecloth, strainer, and a bowl.
  3. Pull stem off of your sugar pumpkin and slice in half from the top. With a metal spoon, scrape out the seeds and insides.
  4. Place pumpkin halves cut side down on a parchment lined sheet pan. Roast your pumpkin for 50-60 minutes until roasted all the way through. You can test with a fork poke if you are unsure.
  5. Let pumpkin cool to the touch.
  6. Pull off the skins and puree roasted pumpkin in a food processor until completely smooth. If you have time, strain the puree as follows, if not go ahead and make soup without the straining step, you might not need as much broth, but you decide how thick you want your soup.
  7. To Strain: Scrape the puree into a cheesecloth-lined colander. Place the colander in a larger bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for about 4 hours or overnight. Bring up the corner of the cheesecloth and twist mound of pumpkin to remove all the excess water that you can. Store what is left in a glass jar with a tight lid until ready to use.
To make soup:
  1. Heat a large stockpot with coconut oil and add chopped onions and apples, cook for about 5 minutes until onions and apples are soft and lightly browning.
  2. Next, add garam masala and cinnamon and stir for about 30 seconds to mix and release the fragrances.
  3. Add pumpkin puree and 3 cups of broth, stir over medium heat until combined and simmer for about 10 minutes to blend flavors. Add another cup of broth and the salt, stir to combine.
  4. Using an immersion blender puree all veggies and fruit together until smooth. If using a blender let the soup cool slightly before pureeing and then return to the pot until heated.
  5. Lastly, stir in 1 cup of coconut milk.
  6. Taste the soup and adjust seasonings as you wish. If you need a bit more sweetness, add a tablespoon of maple syrup, honey, or a bit more cinnamon. If you need more spice add a pinch of cayenne or a little more salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Top with dukkah nut blend in the recipe above!
  8. Makes 8 servings.

 

Both of these recipes are ready for you to make your own. Keep your spices and your salt & pepper handy, tasting as you go and adjusting the seasonings as you wish.

By the way, it’s not lost on me that most things I post these days on @heatherbursch and the blog have a thread of melancholy and mood. Ha! I assure you I’m in good fall spirits, and it’s starting right here with this soup and a sweater.

Enjoy!

~Heather

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