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Squash and Fire Roasted Tomato Soup with Quinoa

I love squash but in my opinion some of the long neck varieties lack flavour. That problem is fixed with this soup. My inspiration comes from African style Squash and Peanut Soups. In this recipe the flavours are nicely balanced so don't worry if you are not a fan of coriander or turmeric. They are not the star of the dish. I bet after a day in the refrigerator it will be even better. Because the squash is pureed there should be no problem freezing individual portions for future lunches.

Any type of diced tomato would work just fine but I happened to find a can of fire roasted tomatoes this morning in the grocery store. I like the look of the burnt bits. As an added bonus this recipe is vegetarian and vegan, since both those eating styles are popular in today's food world.

I am experimenting with some of my specialty spices but of course, substitute with what you have on hand.

Squash and Fire Roasted Tomato Soup with Quinoa

1 small squash, any variety
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 14 fluid ounce (398 mL) can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon coriander, crushed
1 teaspoon Aleppo turmeric
1/4 teaspoon piment d'esplette
1/4 teaspoon Vietnamese Saigon Cassia cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup mushroom stock
1 cup cooked chick peas
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 cup cooked quinoa
parsley for garnish

Grill or oven roast the squash until tender. Cool and remove seeds and skin. Puree pulp with a little water.

Saute onion in olive oil and butter until translucent. Add garlic and ginger. Saute for another minute. Add coriander, cinnamon, turmeric and piment d'esplette and saute until aromatic.

Add canned tomatoes and pureed squash. Heat to bubbling and keep at a simmer. Add peanut butter, honey, stock and chick peas. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for five minutes and remove from heat. Serve immediately and top with a generous scoop of quinoa. Garnish with parsley.

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