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spice substitution

ruth arcone Dec 15, 2004 11:19 AM

I just saw a recipe in the December issue of Martha Stewart Living for a butternut squash and celery root soup. It sounds great, but the problem is that the only spice it calls for is fennel seed, which I hate. Can anyone suggest a substitution that would work with the celery root, squash and the usual other ingredients (onions, garlic etc).

  1. r
    rudeboy Dec 15, 2004 11:35 AM

    Coriander seed?

    1. d
      Deenso Dec 15, 2004 11:45 AM

      Would caraway seed work for your recipe?

      1. k
        kc girl Dec 15, 2004 12:06 PM

        Lawry's seasoned salt
        or Thai Spice blend by Spice Hunter

        1. c
          Candy Dec 15, 2004 12:08 PM

          Toast some cumin seed in a skillet and then grind it up. That flavor should work with the squash

          6 Replies
          1. re: Candy
            rudeboy Dec 15, 2004 12:15 PM

            That was actually my first thought......most people don't have cumin seed, so I said coriander. I've been doing the cumin seed toasting and grinding for the past year. I will never buy ground cumin again!

            1. re: rudeboy
              ruth arcone Dec 15, 2004 12:28 PM

              What do you grind it in? I am planning to get a small coffee grinder to use just for spices, but I am afraid that the smell/flavor of some of the stronger spices will linger in the grinder. I like cumin alot, but I find it takes over everything around it.

              1. re: ruth arcone
                Fatemeh Dec 15, 2004 12:35 PM

                I always rough grind my whole seed spices in my mortar & pestle... It's meditative, and i really enjoy it.

                If I want a finer grind, I add a bit of coarse salt to the mortar as well... then just adjust the seasoning in the dish accordingly.

                1. re: ruth arcone
                  petradish Dec 15, 2004 12:36 PM

                  a (separate) coffee grinder works fine for spices. after each use brush spices out with a dry pastry brush (or a little cheapo paintbrush from the hardware store) then wipe it with a slightly damp paper towel.

                  1. re: petradish
                    rudeboy Dec 15, 2004 01:10 PM

                    I use the coffee grinder for dry spices, and the little $30 kitchenaid processor when adding garlic, herbs, or other things with moisture.

                    I still haven't seasoned my mortar and pestle, and I bought it in mexico four years ago!

                  2. re: ruth arcone
                    Candy Dec 15, 2004 02:04 PM

                    I use a mortar and pestle for that sort of thing. And yes, toasting the cumin seed before grinding really brings out the best flavor

              2. p
                petradish Dec 15, 2004 12:14 PM


                1. s
                  suzannapilaf Dec 15, 2004 12:20 PM

                  I'm thinking garam masala sounds good...

                  1. e
                    Ellen Dec 15, 2004 12:34 PM

                    Madras curry powder works great, with a pinch of cayenne too.

                    1. p
                      PeteEats Dec 15, 2004 01:30 PM

                      Just leave out the fennel. The soup will be fine without any seasoning, other than salt and pepper.

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