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Culinary Capers Moroccan Chicken Soup with Savoury Walnut and Cumin Biscotti

Our autumn recipe is a Moroccan chicken soup with roasted fall vegetables served with savoury walnut and cumin biscotti. This hearty soup is infused with the sweet and spicy flavours of the Middle East. The savoury biscotti is great for dunking in comforting fall soups and also fantastic served with cheese and fruit platter combinations, fig tapenade or jams. The biscotti freezes well so make a bunch and use for holiday entertaining or just enjoying with a glass of wine.

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Moroccan Chicken Soup with Roasted Fall Vegetables
Serves 8

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast (¾ inch dice)
1 cup yellow onion (½ inch dice)
½ cup carrots(¾ inch dice)
¾ cup red and yellow peppers (¾ inch dice)
½ cup fresh fennel (¾ inch dice)
1½ cup yams (¾ inch dice)
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6½ cups water
14oz can plum tomatoes, chopped
2 cups canned chickpeas, drained
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
sea salt and black pepper to taste
cilantro garnish

Preheat oven to 375̊ F.
Toss carrots, peppers, fennel and yams with a little olive oil and sea salt. Roast each vegetable separately.  Spread loosely on a baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes or until tender. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan until shimmering. Season diced chicken with sea salt and sauté until lightly golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside.

In the same saucepan add onion and cook on medium low for 10 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add spices to onion and cook 2 minutes.

Add water, canned tomatoes, roasted vegetables, chicken and 1 cup of the chickpeas. Simmer about 15 minutes.

Take the reserved chickpeas and 2 cups of broth from the soup and purée in a blender until very smooth. Add to soup and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.

Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.

Savoury Walnut and Cumin Biscotti
Makes 10

1¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp shallots, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
2 tsp cumin seeds
2/3 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup dry white wine

Preheat oven to 350̊ F.

In a bowl, mix dry ingredients including herbs and shallots.

In a second bowl, whisk together oil and wine.

Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until completely incorporated and dough is smooth.

Form dough into a loaf: 8” long x 2½” wide by 1” high.

Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until puffed and light golden brown.

Cool for 1 hour or more*.

Using a serrated knife, slice on a deep angle into ¼ inch thick slices.

Bake again until golden, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Transfer the biscotti to a wire rack and cool completely.

*Chef Margaret tip: you can freeze the biscotti at this point and when you want to use, thaw, slice and continue second baking.

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Photo:  Executive Chef Margaret Chisholm

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