Toasted Sunflower Seed Soup

by Miche Genest

Toasted Sunflower Seed Soup- by Miche Genest
Toasted sunflower seeds and roasted garlic work magic together in this fabulous fall soup

1 head garlic
2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil, divided *substitute sunflower oil
2 cups (475 mL) + 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sunflower seeds, divided
1 tbsp. (15 mL) butter
1 tsp (5 mL) crushed red pepper
1½ cups (350 mL) onion, chopped
4 cups (1 L) organic chicken stock
1 cup (250 mL) 35 percent cream
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Slice the top off the head of garlic to expose the flesh, oil the outer skin and drizzle 1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive oil over top. Spread sunflower seeds on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place garlic at one end. Toast seeds for 7 to 10 minutes and transfer to a bowl.

Return garlic to oven and roast for another 30 to 40 minutes, until soft.Heat remaining tablespoon (15 mL) oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add crushed red pepper and sauté for 2 minutes. Add onion and sauté until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.

Squeeze roasted garlic from the papery skin right into the pot. Add sunflower seeds, reserving one tablespoon (15 mL). Add stock, bring to the boil over high heat and reduce to medium-low. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove soup from heat and purée with an immersion blender or in small batches in food processor or blender until smooth. Press soup through a sieve.

Transfer soup to a clean saucepan, add cream and heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a sprinkle of seeds over top.

Makes eight ½-cup (125-mL) or four 1-cup (250-mL) servings.

Reprinted with permission from The Boreal Feast by Michele Genest (Harbour Publishing)