Today's Spice is Whole Annatto Seeds
We've had a lot of pretty wintery days recently, so I've been in the mood for soup. I made this wonderful Potato-Kale Soup with crispy pieces of Chorizo Sausages, from Viva Vegan. Once again, I must pause to recognize what a tremendous book Viva Vegan is. This was a nice hearty and wholesome soup. The soup itself was filling without being at all heavy, and the sausage bits gave you little flavor blasts of spicy seasoning! We both loved it.
These are annatto seeds. They are sort of the size of giant sumo wrestler sesame seeds on steroids. And they are bright red. I also have a package of powdered annatto, because I just can't stop buying spices. For the sausages in this recipe, the annatto seeds are cooked in warm oil, which produces a brilliant dark orange oil - and then that's the oil you use for the sausages... which gives them their color. Plus, this recipe deserves a special shout out for using even more spices from my over-crowded spice cupboards: paprika! annatto! epazote!
Bonus Spice: Epazote (aka "Mexican Oregano")
It's not hard to find epazote around here, but I don't use it all often. It always cracks me up how rough and "natural" it is in the baggie. Here it is, straight out of the bag and full of various twigs and small branches.