Roasted Squash and Tomato Soup with Cumin and Rosemary

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A gorgeously coloured and deep-flavoured soup to make in the autumn when pumpkins, squashes, bell peppers, and tomatoes are at their very best and most seasonal.  The cumin, rosemary, and paprika add a smoky flavour that seems to fit the mood of the season.  This is  delicious served with some chile cornbread or a quick bread loaf studded with intense nuggets of sun-dried tomato.

AUTUMNAL ROASTED SQUASH & TOMATO SOUP WITH CUMIN & ROSEMARY

  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
  • 1 large sweet yellow onion, thickly sliced
  • 1 tsp crushed cumin seeds, plus extra ground cumin to taste
  • 1 cup ripe tomatoes, skinned and halved
  • 1  prepared squash, cut into 1” pieces any variety
  • 2 medium red bell peppers halved and seeded
  • 1 small head of garlic, cloves separated but left unpeeled
  • 2-3 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • Leaves from 2 small rosemary sprigs, removed from the stalk and finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice, to taste (optional)
  • Pinch of crushed, roasted cumin seeds to serve
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of the oil.  Put the onion slices at one end and scatter over the crushed cumin.  Arrange the tomatoes, cut-side-uppermost, over the onions.  Put the squash and bell peppers at the other end of the baking sheet with the garlic.  Drizzle the vinegar over the tomatoes, season everything with a little salt and some lack pepper and finally drizzle the remaining oil over everything.  Roast, uncovered in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, stirring the squash once.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Pop the garlic cloves out of their skins into a large saucepan.  Scrape all the roasted vegetables into the pan with the oil and add the rosemary and paprika.  Stir over low heat for 2-3 minutes and then add the stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and let simmer gently for 5-6 minutes.  Let cool a little then process until smooth.  Adjust the seasoning with more cumin, salt and/or lime juice as necessary.

Serve piping hot, drizzled with a little extra oil and with a sprinkling of crushed roasted cumin.

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