Butternut squash and pear soup with spiced chickpeas
This elegant butternut squash and pear soup is topped with baked Moroccan spiced chickpeas. It's a perfect example of how soup can be fancy looking yet oh-so simple to whip up. Serve this special soup as a starter for dinner with friends or for a tête-à-tête with your special someone.
The soup can be made ahead of time, just make sure to test the consistency as it may thicken overnight. Add a little water or vegetable broth to thin it out if required and taste again for seasoning. You can adjust the spices to your liking, for example by adding more fresh ginger for extra heat or putting in less for a milder result. The crisp chickpeas are are optional but seriously recommended.
** Leftover Moroccan spice mix can be placed in an airtight container and kept in a cool dry place for up to a month. It works well in marinades, on roasted or grilled meats and vegetables, or sprinkled on popcorn for a dash of spice.
Leftover spiced chickpeas can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Re-crisp in a 350°F / 175°C oven for 10 minutes.