Recently I decided to give Raw Spice Bar a chance. I’ve had great experiences with Blue Apron and Hello Fresh as far as the meal delivery services go. Raw Spice Bar is similar in that it’s a monthly subscription, but instead of sending you entire meals, it focuses on new spices from around the world. As someone who loves to travel, the idea of trying new spices from cultures near and far each month, is incredibly appealing.

This month is the Pondicherry Flavor Kit. I’ll be honest, I had to google what Pondicherry was. In case you didn’t know either, it’s the capital city of Indian union territory of Puducherry. Over the next few weeks I’ll be cooking and reviewing the first three packets that came in the Pondicherry Flavor Kit.

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Up first is the Indo-French Vadouvan packet. I kinda’ feel like an idiot because I don’t know what those words mean either. “Vadouvan” means Indian spice blend. When you get your spices, each packet comes with two recipes. This provides you with options on how you’ll use your packets.

Since it’s fall, I decided to go with the Vadouvan Butternut Squash Soup. I didn’t have any of the ingredients for the soup other than butter, so I stopped at the grocery store and to my surprise, everything came out to $9.80. That’s pretty impressive considering this is a healthy meal that contains several servings.

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INGREDIENTS
2 tbsp RawSpiceBar’s Indo-French Vadouvan
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes, strained
1 medium butternut squash
2 quarts chicken stock
1 cup water
3 medium leeks
Salt & pepper, to taste

RAW SPICE BAR’S INDO-FRENCH VADOUVAN SPICES
Toasted cumin, toasted coriander, turmeric, fenugreek, yellow mustard seeds, brown mustard seeds, green cardamom, aleppo pepper, cayenne, nutmeg, cloves, spices

DIRECTIONS

Heat oil or butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.

Chop up the leeks and onions. Add to the pot and stir until translucent, 6-8 minutes.

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Add salt and RawSpiceBar’s Indo-French Vadouvan and stir until fragrant, 1 minute.

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Add butternut squash, re-season with salt to taste. Cook until slightly brown, 8-12 minutes.

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Add tomatoes and let brown, another 4-5 minutes.

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Stir in stock and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until squash is tender.

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Season with black pepper and salt to taste. Puree to desired consistency.

Ladle into individual bowls and serve with plain yogurt or raita and crusty bread or naan. (I actually used sour cream, because that’s all I had in the fridge.)

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Overall, I’m very pleased with this soup. The flavors are rich and tastes like Fall. With the ingredients pretty much all vegetables, this is a really healthy option for a cold day.

I’m looking forward to trying the other two packets from Raw Spice Bar – Peppercorn Chia and Unpumpkin Pie Spice. Getting spices from around the world every month for only $8 is a heck of a deal. 

Comment below if you have also tried Raw Spice Bar and what you think!