Tunisian Pumpkin Soup with Spelt Soda Bread

As the days turn blustery and chill, I could not resist adding this warming recipe to the collection. There is something about a spicy, smooth soup with pumpkin that tends to be especially inspiring during the Fall season. The chipotle pepper lends a bit of smokiness. For those of you who need a more mild version, omit the red pepper flakes. 
A recipe for spelt soda bread follows—the perfect compliment to a steaming bowl of soup. Spelt is a wonderful heirloom grain and is usually well tolerated by those who have a sensitivity to standard wheat.

Tunisian Pumpkin Soup

Yield: Four Servings


2 cups chopped onions
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup carrots, peeled and sliced 
1/2 cup sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated and chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons paprika
2 cups pureed pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes


In a stock pot over medium heat, sauté onions with olive oil until golden, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, carrots, sweet potatoes, both types of tomatoes, and salt. Sauté for five minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low and add vegetable stock, cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon, paprika, and pumpkin. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes. 

Remove from heat. Using an emersion blender, purée  until smooth. Add chipotle and red pepper flakes. Bon appétit.

Spelt Soda Bread

Yield: One Loaf

1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 cups whole-grain spelt flour + 2 tablespoons for loaf pan
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (non-aluminum)
1 teaspoon Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 cup buttermilk


Preheat oven to 425ºF. Oil and flour an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and caraway seeds. Mix in buttermilk until dough pulls together. Transfer to loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 15 minutes. Once cool, run butter knife around sides of loaf to remove from pan. Slice into hearty pieces and serve warm.

Another year gone, leaving everywhere 
its rich spiced residues: vines, leaves,

the uneaten fruits crumbling damply

in the shadows, unmattering back

from the particular island

of this summer, this NOW, that now is nowhere

except underfoot, moldering 

in that black subterranean castle

of unobservable mysteries - roots and sealed seeds

and the wandering of water. This

I try to remember when time's measure

painfully chafes, for instance when autumn

flares out at the last, boisterous and like us longing

to stay - how everything lives, shifting

from one bright vision to another, forever 

in these momentary pastures.

~ Fall Song, by Mary Oliver 

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