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Butternut Squash Bisque With Dukkah

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    Butternut Squash Bisque With Dukkah
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    Butternut Squash Bisque With Dukkah
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    Dukkah - an Egyptian seasoning made from nuts and spices

Text, photos and food cooked by Michal Martinek

Oct 27, 2016

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Butternut Squash Bisque With Dukkah

The soup is an assertive, scrumptious no-brainer—very simple ingredients mixed with very simple seasoning—but what elevates it is the stuff you sprinkle on top and stir in. It is a condiment called dukkah, and it originated in Egypt. There are countless versions, and every cook is welcome to put their spin on it.

The base typically consists of nuts (sometimes chickpeas) and fragrant spices like cumin, coriander and sesame seeds, which are ground together until coarse and crunchy. To make it spicy, add red pepper flakes; to make it nicely colored, add turmeric; to make it extra scented, add cinnamon and clove. Make a batch—the recipe easily doubles—and have it around to eat in many different ways to add flavor and texture: dip a piece of bread in olive oil, then in dukkah; sprinkle it over salads, puréed soups, steamed seafood or grilled meats. 

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  1. Serves 4
  2. Bisque
  3. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  4. 1 medium yellow onion, peeled, chopped
  5. 3 pounds butternut squash, peeled, deseeded, diced into 1-inch pieces
  6. 2 carrots, peeled, diced into 1-inch pieces
  7. 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, grated
  8. 8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  9. 2 teaspoons salt
  10. Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
  11. Dukkah
  12. ¼ cup hazelnuts
  13. ¼ cup almonds
  14. ¼ cup sesame seeds
  15. ¼ cup coriander seeds
  16. 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  17. ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  18. 1 teaspoon salt
  19. ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  20. ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  21. ¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

1

Prepare the bisque. Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the squash, carrots and ginger, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Pour in the stock, increase the heat, cover with a lid, and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 30–40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.

2

Purée the mixture in a blender or with a handheld mixer, until creamy. Taste for salt and black pepper, and add more if needed. Serve with 1 tablespoon of dukkah sprinkled on top.

3

Prepare the dukkah. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the hazelnuts and almonds on a rimmed baking sheet, and toast in the oven until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a clean kitchen towel. Wrap the nuts and rub with your hands until most of the skins are removed (don’t worry if some stays on). Let cool completely in a bowl or on a plate.

4

Preheat a large skillet over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the sesame seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and fennel seeds, and dry-toast, stirring frequently, until fragrant and lightly colored, about 4–5 minutes. Let cool completely in a bowl or on a plate.

5

Combine the nuts and seeds in the bowl of a food processor fitted with an S-shape blade. Add the salt, thyme, oregano and black pepper, and process until coarse and crumb-like. Store in the refrigerator, in a tightly sealed container, for up to two weeks.

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