Pee-can or Puh-cahn?

Moroccan Spiced Pecan Butternut Soup
Moroccan Spiced Pecan Butternut Soup

No Matter how you pronouce it, don’t relegate this nut to the end of the line—dessert. Add crunch to a salad, sprinkle onto roasted butternut squash or green beans, crust trout with a mixture of white flour and ground pecans or just roast, salt and eat.

This meaty nut is full of fiber, magnesium and zinc (boosted immunity and heart health!).  Their high fat content means they have a short shelf-life though, so pop them in the freezer to preserve freshness. Toast lightly before using to bring out the nutty flavor and add extra crunch.

Pecans are often saved for dessert. In a pureed soup, they give an extra bang with both nutty flavor and textural richness.  This velvety soup is a great dinner when paired with a red wine vinaigrette green salad and a hunk of chewy baguette.

Moroccan Spiced Pecan Butternut Soup

Preparation time: 15 min     

Cook time: 20 min

Ingredients:

1 small butternut squash (1-1.5-lb.), peeled and cut into rough 2” chunks*

1 small onion, chopped

1 cup (4 oz.) whole pecans

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cups chicken broth

Sour cream

Extra pecans, chopped

Parsley, chopped

Moroccan Spice Blend

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon ginger

½ teaspoon coriander

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon cloves

Heat a 4-quart pot over medium heat.  Add the olive oil, onions, butternut squash and pecans.  Cook, while occasionally stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes to soften the onions and toast the pecans.  While that’s cooking, mix all the ingredients for the spice blend.  Add all of the spice mix, cook while stirring for 30 seconds to bring out the oils in the spices.  Add the chicken broth.  Cook covered for 20 minutes until the squash is softened.

Add half of the soup to a blender.  With the center of the lid removed, cover the top of the blender with a towel and process until the soup is smooth, about two min.  Repeat with the remainder of the soup.  Serve the soup with a dollop of sour cream, sprinkle of pecans and parsley.

*To speed things along, check out the produce section for already peeled and chopped butternut squash. (Makes 6 servings).

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