From the Pantry: Curried Pumpkin and Wild Rice Soup

There's always one can of pumpkin puree kicking around after Thanksgiving. Put it to use in this ultra-flavorful soup. We use traditional cooking techniques (part mole, part curry) by making a paste with common pantry staples and frying it in oil to create a deep layer of flavor. If you don't have wild rice, just use 1/2 cup of any dry grain you have on hand.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 25 min
  • Prep: 5 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings (1 1/4 cups each)
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Ingredients

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 pepper flakes, plus more for garnish

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

One 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree

Directions

  1. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the rice, and simmer until tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Strain and let cool.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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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