Cayenne – the super spice

I was still feeling blue I missed out on Thanksgiving so I made this soup as a compromise between the dinner my eyes want and the dinner my body can handle.  squash soup

Even though it only just barely uses any new spices… it was definitely worth it!  I had already decided I wanted to make some sort of sweet potato or squash soup and was searching through recipes until I finally decided on this one from Kris Carr’s cook book, “Crazy Sexy Kitchen”.

kriscarrbookpumpkin soup

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Pumpkin Bisque

2 cups pumpkin, butternut squash or sweet potato
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cup white onions, diced
3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
5 cloves roasted garlic
1/4 cup sherry wine
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Cracked black pepper, to taste
Toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional)
Pumpkin seed oil for garnish (optional)

1. Steam or boil the pumpkin or squash until tender.

2. Sauté onions over medium heat in olive oil until translucent.

3. Using a high-speed blender, combine pumpkin, onions, stock, garlic, wine, maple syrup and spices and blend until smooth.

4. Warm soup in saucepan. Serve hot, garnished with pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of pumpkin seed oil, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings.

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I did do a few things differently out of laziness/ comfort more than anything else.  I used a combonation of squash and sweet potato because that’s what I had, I omitted the pumpkin seeds and pumpkin oil, I cooked the onions in some of the sherry and I roasted the squash instead of boiling it.  It was delicious, but I bet it would have been great her way too.  I really like most of her recipes, however I found the ones from her first book, “Crazy Sexy Diet” much easier to make.

Also roasted garlic is amazing!

So now I can cross cayenne pepper and black pepper off my list!  Speaking of which cayenne pepper seems to be something I should be adding to more things, this spice is full of health benefits!

cayenne-pepper-592x444

benefits-cayenne

 

Here are some more ways to enjoy this great spice:

  • Cayenne is sure to heat up any sauté, sauce or soup.
  • Add a pinch of extra spice to any of your meals.
  • Give your hot cocoa a traditional Mexican flair by adding a tiny bit of cayenne pepper.
  • Canned beans take on a whole new dimension when cayenne is added to them.
  • Cayenne and lemon juice make great complements to cooked bitter greens such as collards, kale and mustard greens.

 

SO go forth and add a pinch of cayenne – just remember a little goes a long way!

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