Curried Pumpkin and Wild Rice Soup

  • 1/2 cup wild rice blend
  • 4 tablespoons golden or dark raisins
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews, almonds or peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chilli flakes, plus more for garnish
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • One 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree or fresh pumpkin

Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the rice, and simmer until tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Strain and let cool.

Meanwhile, combine 2 tablespoons of the raisins and 1 tablespoon of the vinegar in a small bowl. Let sit at room temperature until ready to serve.

Pulse 1/4 cup of the nuts, the remaining 3 tablespoons vinegar and 2 tablespoons raisins, 2 tablespoons water, tomato paste, curry powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a food processor until a coarse paste forms, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the coarse paste, and cook, stirring frequently, until the oil begins to separate and the paste is brick red, 6 to 8 minutes. Add splashes of water if the paste sticks to the bottom of the pan at all. Add the chicken broth, pumpkin puree and 1 cup water, and whisk until blended. Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally, and continue simmering until the soup has reduced and is slightly thicker than heavy cream, 30 to 40 minutes. Season with salt, and stir in about 3/4 of the cooked wild rice.

Divide the hot soup among 4 soup bowls. Top each with some of the remaining rice and 1/4 cup cashews, vinegar-soaked raisins and pepper flakes.

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