It’s been raining again, a lot, and that usually leads to cravings for soups. Soups are infinitely comforting as there is nothing like slurping on a hot soup when it’s wet and miserable outside. Add a touch of spice and they somehow become more comforting through a double dose of heat both from the hot liquid and the spices.
The spices in this case come from what is commonly known in the Delicieux house as “Magic Sauce”. Magic sauce came about when I needed Harissa for a recipe I was putting together and couldn’t find Harissa paste in any of the supermarkets or grocers I visited. So I had to come up with my own. I looked at at lots of recipes and saw the main ingredient was chili. With Troy and I being weaklings when it comes to chili’s I subbed in red capsicum (peppers) for some (ok, a lot) of the chilis. And it worked out beautifully. So beautifully in fact it’s since shown up in a number of recipes, which I will share with you later, hence the name “Magic Sauce”. Essentially magic sauce is a weaklings version of harissa, but regardless it’s still magic to me due to it’s versatility.
Knowing how wonderfully versatile this paste has proven to be I thought I would apply it to a soup and see how it turned out. The soup is a simple combination of onions, magic sauce, butternut pumpkin, vegetable stock, cannellini beans (for a protein boost) and coconut milk. But it’s the magic sauce that is the key here and really is the highlight of the soup.
So tell me, do you have a special recipe or ingredient in your home that is magic to you? What is it?
By the way, don’t forget to enter my fantastic ice cream maker giveaway for your chance to win your choice of ice cream maker from the lovely people at Kitchenware Direct.
- MAGIC SAUCE:
- 2 red chilis, deseeded and roughly chopped
- 1 small red capsicum, roughly chopped
- 2 large cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of cumin seeds
- 1 tsp of coriander seeds
- ¼ tsp of smoked paprika
- 1 tbs of olive oil
- 2 tbs of olive oil
- 2 large onions, chopped
- a pinch of salt
- 600g of butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced
- 1 heaped tbs of Magic Sauce
- 1 litre of vegetable stock
- 200 ml of coconut milk
- 400g tin of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- To make the magic sauce, toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a frying pan over a medium heat until fragrant. Set aside to cool. Once cooled add to a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until a powder forms. Add the remaining ingredients and process until you have a smooth paste. Decant into a sterilised jar and refrigerate.
- To make the soup heat a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the oil and onions along with a pinch of salt. Fry the onions until golden. Add the magic sauce and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the pumpkin and toss in the onions and sauce and allow to brown slightly.
- Add the vegetable stock and beans bring to a boil before reducing to a simmer for 10 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender. Add the coconut milk and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and, using a hand helder blender, blend the soup until smooth. Serve with a drizzle of coconut milk and fresh coriander along with a few cumin seeds.