The key to this delicious soup is a particular spice blend, ras el hanout. The translation of this name is more or less “from the top shelf” which is where all the choicest, most expensive spices are kept. Each spice merchant would have his own blend of these spices, balanced to his personal taste and designed to complement the most luxurious dishes.
In this soup, the ras el hanout is sprinkled over the vegetables before roasting, and the combination with the squash and the onions is mouth-watering. To garnish, either a few leaves of fresh coriander or, if you have it to hand, some fresh pomegranate seeds are the perfect accompaniment. Tempted? If you make it, please share your photos with us on social media with the hashtag #kettlewellscarecrow. We’d love to know how you got on!
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Notes from Saul at the Kettlewell Hostel:
"The perfect autumn soup, the proportions of vegetables don’t really matter, just buy what is cheap and in season, don’t worry about peeling the carrots and parsnips so long as they are clean. It uses Ras el Hanout which is a delicious warming spice mix from Morocco, it is very commonly available and adds a delicious warmth to the soup. Perfect for an autumn evening."
- 2 red onions cut into 8 wedges
- 300g carrot cut into 2cm chunks
- 300g parsnip cut into 2cm chunks
- 300g peeled butternut squash, cut into 2cm chunks
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp ras el hanout mixed with 1.5 tbsp olive oil
- 1l vegetable stock
- Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
- Tip all the vegetables and the garlic into a roasting tin.
- Sprinkle over the ras el hanout and some salt and pepper, drizzle over the oil and give everything a good stir. Roast for 30-35 mins, turning the vegetables over halfway, until they’re tender and starting to caramelise a little.
- Transfer the roasted veg to a large saucepan, pour over the hot stock and simmer for 5 mins.
- Purée the soup in a food processor, or in the pan with a hand blender, until smooth. Taste, season with fresh ground pepper, add more stock if it seems a little thick.
- Sprinkle with a dash of smoked paprika to serve.
Mix the Ras el hanout with the olive oil to help it cover the veg: if you enjoy things spicier you can double up on the spice mix.
Peel the squash before chopping, or substitute pumpkin for the squash if it is near Halloween and they are cheap.
If you are concerned about having ras el hanout left over, just make a bigger
batch of soup as it freezes really well: it may be even better the second day.
Ras el hanout is also a great spice blend to have in reserve for a quick punch of flavour to give a Mediterranean twist to meatballs, dips, potato wedges, barbecues, mayonnaise, or even a classic tomato soup.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 129Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 638mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 6gSugar: 8gProtein: 2g
Nutritional data provided is a guideline and will vary according to precise ingredients used and how large your home-made portions are.