A recent work trip to Minneapolis led me and a few coworkers to Spoon and Stable. An Eater article on the best restaurants in America clued me in to the spot, and while I haven’t been lucky enough to eat at every restaurant on this list, I left my delicious meal at Spoon and Stable having no doubt that they had a rightful place on that list. Everything was outstanding, but the black walnut dukkah that accompanied the silky smooth butternut squash soup was nothing short of divine. As the waiter promised, the walnut dukkah made each bite just a little different, and I practically inhaled the soup. I connected with the friendly staff at the restaurant, asking if I could share my adaptation of their walnut dukkah recipe here, and they graciously obliged. I’m thrilled to kick off this blog with a recipe that deliciously screams fall and is so versatile it can be used to top soups, eggs, hashes, zoodles, or really anything your heart desires. The butternut squash soup I developed isn’t too shabby either!
Dukkah is an Egyptian seasoning made bold and rich with toasted nuts, seeds and spices. It’s highly adaptable, and can be made with almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts or pistachios for a base (get creative – I use walnut here to keep true to the dish at Spoon and Stable, but it’s worth exploring!). Sesame seeds are common, though here I use pepitas, and toasted and ground cumin, fennel and coriander give it warmth and depth. Dried mint adds herbaceous subtlety (ok, that phrase sounds ridiculous and clearly goes too far into pretentious foodie land, but I’m keeping it!) and from there you can stop, or keep building! Spooned on top of a luscious butternut squash soup, this dukkah shines.
The world is full of butternut squash soup recipes, but I wanted something simple and flavorful that would taste rich and delicious while letting the dukkah take center stage. This version uses the pulp and seeds from the squash to add extra squashy depth to the stock. After scraping out the seeds and pulp (use an ice cream scoop! Makes it so easy!), I sauteed them with some shallots, garlic, and ghee before adding water and chicken stock, and simmering while the squash roasted in the oven. The result was a gorgeous broth that was subtle and sweet. A quick blend with the roasted and caramelized squash and some nutpods for a creamy kicker, and I had the perfect base.
I hope this pure and unapologetically Fall dish makes it onto your table soon!Print
An Egyptian nut and spice blend that is perfect for topping soups, mixing into chicken salad, or adding a bold crunch on top of anything!
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup roasted, salted pepitas, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fennel
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon coriander
- 2 tablespoons dried mint
- Toast the walnuts and set aside
- Toast the fennel, coriander and cumin, and then coarsely grind (I like to use a spice grinder but you can use a mortar and pestle)
- Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container
- Spoon a heaping tablespoon on top of soup and enjoy!
Keywords: dukkah, spice blend, egyptian
Silky, creamy and squash-forward, this soup is on repeat during the fall!
- 2 medium butternut squash
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1/2 cup nutpods or coconut milk
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- Cut the butternut squash in half vertically. Scrape and remove the seeds and pulp and set aside
- Place the butternut squash on a lined baking sheet and brush with oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 60 minutes or until fork tender. Let cool, and then scrape and remove squash flesh from skins and set aside.
- While squash is roasting, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and melt 2 tablespoons ghee
- Add shallot and sweat for about 3 minutes
- Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute
- Add squash seeds and pulp, and saute for 3-5 minutes, until saffron in color and starting to brown
- Add the water, broth and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil
- Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain broth and return to saucepan.
- Add the squash flesh and 1 tablespoon of ghee, and blend until smooth using an immersion blender (this can be done in a blender or Vitamix if you are lucky enough to have one, just work in small enough batches and don’t exceed any max fill lines). Blend in 1/2 cup of nutpods or coconut milk, and season with salt to taste.
- For an ultra luscious texture, run the soup through a chinois or fine mesh strainer to achieve restaurant quality silky smooth texture!
Keywords: butternut squash, soup, fall, paleo