This creamy soup cried out for a little bit of texture, so topping it with something crunchy made total sense. I considered toasting pumpkin seeds, but didn't have any on hand so I opted for sliced almonds-- and it turned out to be the perfect addition to this soup!
The almonds are sweet (from brown sugar and maple syrup, smoky (from the smoked paprika), with some great spicy notes form cayenne, nutmeg, and cinnamon. When baked, the spice mixture gets melty and turns these nuts into something almost brittle-like. And it tastes just as delicious as a snack on its own as it does broken up and sprinkled on top of this soup. These almonds would be perfect on top of a salad too!
- 1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
- 1 Tbs. light brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 3/4 tsp. chile powder
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 3/4 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 Tbs. pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1 cup sliced almonds
In a medium bowl, whisk together melted butter and next 8 ingredients (through Kosher salt) until totally combined. Stir in almonds and toss well until evenly coated.
Spread almonds out in an even layer on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes until almonds are golden, but not burnt.
Remove from oven, cool completely, and then break up into smaller pieces.