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Spicy Summer Squash Soup with Yogurt and Mint

01 October

Adapted from Alice Waters The Art of Simple Food
Makes about 3 quarts: 4-6 servings

Heat in a heavy-bottomed soup pot:
1/4 cup olive oil

Add and cook, stirring often, over medium heat:
1 large onion, sliced fine
a pinch of saffron threads
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
Cook until very soft but not browned. If the onions or garlic start to stick, turn down the heat and add a splash of water to the pot.

While the onions are cooking, wash in cold water:
5 medium green or yellow squash
Cut into thick slices (3/4 inch). When the onions are done, add the squash to the pot with:
sea salt

Cook for 3 minutes then pour in:
3 cups stock of choice
3 cups of water
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook until the squash is tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the yogurt and mint garnish. Cut into julienne:
4 mint sprigs

In a mortar and pestle, pound half the julienned mint into a paste. Stir in the remaining mint and add:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup yogurt
sea salt

Let the soup cool a bit, them puree in a blender until very smooth (take care when blending the soup to leave a vent for the steam to escape). Reheat, thin with a little water if necessary, taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve hot with a spoonful of mint and yogurt. Pass around:
lime wedges at the table if you want.

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