Tunisian Pumpkin Soup with Spelt Irish Soda Bread

As the days turn blustery with a sharp note in the air, I couldn’t resist adding a warming recipe to our collection. There’s something about a spicy, pureed soup with fall vegetables that I find especially inspiring at this time of the year. If you need a more tame version, skip the pepper flakes—the soup is just as wonderful without the kick. I’ve also included a quick and simple spelt soda bread, which rounds out the recipe for a complete light meal—especially when accompanied with a nice smear of pasture butter. For those of you unfamiliar with spelt, it’s a wonderful, heirloom grain related to wheat, yet usually well-tolerated by those who have a sensitivity to run-of-the-mill varieties.

Wishing everyone an abundant and beautiful autumn!

Tunisian Pumpkin Soup

Yield: Four generous servings

2 cups onions, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ cup carrots, peeled and sliced
½ cup sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 ½ tsp salt
2 ½ cups water or light vegetable stock
1 cup Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp paprika
1 ¾ cups pumpkin, cooked

Yogurt-Spice Swirl

Combine the following in a small bowl and set aside.

1/2 cup full fat yogurt, preferably Greek.
1 tsp garlic, minced or pressed
4 tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground cayenne
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
⅛ tsp salt

For the soup: In a medium pot, sauté the onions in the oil until they become translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, carrots, sweet potatoes, both types of tomatoes and salt. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes.

Next, add water or stock, cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon, and paprika. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin. Remove from heat and using a immersion blender, pureé the soup until smooth.

Ladle the soup into bowls and top each a bit of the yogurt-spice swirl.

Whole-Grain Spelt Soda Bread

2 T extra virgin coconut oil
2 cups whole grain spelt flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder (non-aluminum)
1 tsp sea, Himalayan, or Celtic salt
2 tsp caraway seeds, optional
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425°F. Oil & flour a loaf pan and set aside. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a medium mixing bowl. Add caraway seeds. Mix in buttermilk until dough pulls together. Transfer to loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for 15 minutes before slicing.

“Soup is cuisine's kindest course.  It breathes reassurance; it steams consolation; after a weary day it promotes sociability, as the five o'clock cup of tea or the cocktail hour.”
 ~Louis P. De Gouy, ‘The Soup Book’ (1949)

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