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Author Notes: I love using kabocha squash because of its dry texture and nutty flavour. It has the added bonus of not having to be peeled. the Asian pears add sweetness and a silky texture. This is easily made vegan by substituting an oil for the butter. —Karen Barnaby
For the soup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 large Asian pears, peeled, cored and chopped
- 2 pounds kabocha squash, seeded and diced into 1/2" pieces
- 6-8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
For the Hazelnut Dukkah
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds
- 1/3 cup roasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
- Melt butter in large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 1 minute. Add squash and continue to cook until onion is tender, about 8 minutes. Add the pear, and 6 cups of the broth. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat. Cover and simmer until squash is tender, about 35 minutes.
- Puree the soup in batches in a high speed blender. Return the soup to the pot and season to taste. Bring to simmer and thin with more broth if too thick. Serve with the Hazelnut Dukkah.
- For the dukkah, roast the peppercorns In a small, dry frying pan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant. Remove to a plate. Add the coriander, cumin and fennel seed to the pan and roast, stirring frequently until the coriander turns a shade darker. Remove to a separate plate.
- Grind the peppercorns finely and add to the hazelnuts. Grind the remaining ingredients coarsely with the salt and add to the hazelnuts and pepper. Mix well. Store sealed in a cool dark place.