Cream Of Caribbean Pumpkin Soup With Cacao Nibs

Cream Of Caribbean Pumpkin Soup With Cacao Nibs
Cream Of Caribbean Pumpkin Soup With Cacao Nibs

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

6

servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

6

servings

Ingredients

  • 1

    ounce cacao nibs

  • 1

    chile guajillo

  • 4

    plum tomatoes - (abt 10 oz) stemmed

  • 1/2

    white onion - (abt 3 1/2 oz)

  • 4

    garlic cloves

  • 1/8

    teaspoon allspice

  • 1/8

    teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/8

    teaspoon aniseed

  • 1

    tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1

    tablespoon brown loaf sugar grated (preferably Colombian panela or Mexican piloncillo) (or demerara natural brown cane

  • 2

    pounds calabaza peeled, and cut into 1" cubes

  • =(or Caribbean pumpkin, acorn, or hubbard squash)

  • 8

    cups well-flavored chicken stock

  • Salt to taste

  • Freshly-ground black pepper to taste

  • 1

    ounce dark chocolate (preferably 58.5% or 60% cacao content)

  • FOR GARNISH:

  • 1

    cup Mexican cream or creme fraiche

  • 1

    cup cubed Manchego cheese

  • Kekchi Cacao-Chile Balls (listed below)

  • KEKCHI CACAO-CHILE BALLS:

  • 3

    ounces cacao nibs - (abt 2/3 cup)

  • 3

    ounces piquin chiles - (abt 1 cup)

  • 1

    stick true canela - (1" long) coarsely chopped (soft Ceylon cinnamon)

  • 1/2

    teaspoon allspice berries

  • 1

    teaspoon salt

  • 1

    teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika

Directions

Heat a griddle, medium-sized cast-iron skillet, or Mexican comal over medium heat. Add the cacao nibs and dry-roast for 2 minutes, until fragrant, turning constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula. Turn out into another container and set aside. Stem and seed the chile. Place on a hot comal, griddle or iron skillet and roast briefly turning with tongs. Place in a bowl with warm water to soften. Roast the tomatoes, onion, and garlic until blistered on all sides. Peel the onion and garlic. Place in a food processor or blender together with the roasted cacao nibs and the spices and puree. Heat the oil in medium, heavy-bottomed pot. Add the puree and the brown sugar and saute for 5 minutes. Add the pumpkin and the stock. Correct seasoning. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat and cover until the pumpkin is soft, about 15 minutes. Puree in a food processor or blender, in batches. Strain the soup pushing the solids against the strainer with the back of a spoon. Put back in the pot and heat over medium heat. Add the chocolate and stir until dissolved, about 3 minutes. Serve the soup hot garnished with a dollop of Mexican cream or creme fraiche and a tablespoon or so of the cubed cheese. Pass the Kekchi Cacao-Chile balls around the table with a small cheese grater and invite your guests to grate a pinch of this super-hot condiment on the soup for extra heat and cacao flavor. Kekchi Cacao-Chile Balls: Heat a griddle, medium-sized cast-iron skillet, or Mexican comal over medium heat. Add the cacao nibs and dry-roast for 2 minutes, until fragrant, turning constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula. Turn out into another container and set aside. Add the chiles, cinnamon stick, and allspice berries to the griddle and roast the same way, stirring for 2 minutes. Scrape into an electric spice mill or coffee grinder with the salt and paprika; grind to a fine powder. Combine the spice mixture and roasted cacao in a mini-food processor and process into a warm, sticky paste, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Scrape out onto a work surface and shape into 12 small balls. Let sit until thoroughly dried. Store in a tightly sealed jar. When ready to use, grate over any dish of your choice. This recipe yields 6 to 8 servings.

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