Thursday, August 27, 2009

Broccoli soup inspired by Colleen!

This soup was originally made without the onions, beans and sour cream by my friend Colleen. I love cream soups, and here is a lovely way to do one without dying from all the heavy fats. Minus the sour cream and queso fresco, this is vegan (and mozzarella vegan-rella would go really well with the soup too).

Get a large soup pot with a cover ready with a steamer in the bottom and about 1/2" of water in the bottom of the pot. Cut up 1.5 large or 2 medium heads of broccoli and steam until tender but crisp (or use a bag of frozen). Blend in blender (2-3 batches) with (plain) soy milk (enough to cover) and some sliced almonds then return to the soup pot. Thinly slice a small onion and peel 2-3 garlic cloves. Add 1 C cooked great northern beans to a pan and heat up. Add the onion, garlic and almonds and gently saute until the onion is transparent. Blend in batches with soy milk if necessary and add to the soup pot. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a lot of freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste. Simmer until thick and slightly reduced. Garnish with sour cream and queso fresco (or mozzarella).

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hummus, with or without red pepper

Hummus is really easy to make, despite how much it costs at the store. This recipe makes about a quart of great hummus.

I generally soak a whole bunch of chickpeas and then use them for hummus, indian dishes or on salads. You'll need 2 cups cooked chickpeas for a quart of hummus. This should be about 2/3 C dry. Soak the chickpeas in water for 4-8 hours (more is better). Place in a pressure cooker, with water used for soaking and heat on high (with pressure cooker top on to pressurize). Cook at high heat for about 30 minutes, then use a knife to gently tap the top of the pressure cooker to release steam. Once the steam is all released, open the pressure cooker, take out a chickpea, cool it and taste it. If it's soft and even slightly mushy, it's done. If not, try another 10-20 minutes in the pressure cooker.

Take 2 cups of the cooked chickpeas and place in a food processor (a small amount of cooking liquid included here is good). Add 1/2 C tahini, 1/4 C lemon, 1-3 cloves garlic and cumin and paprika to taste. Pulse briefly, then add 1-3 roasted red peppers. I buy these in jars, in the canned food section, as bell peppers are very expensive currently. Salt and pepper to taste, then keep in refrigerator until ready to serve. Good on pitas and sandwiches and with raw vegetables.

baba ghanoush

Traditional eggplant spread, great on pitas or sandwiches.

Cut a large eggplant in half and trim the leaves off of the top. Pop into the oven at 400 degrees, cut side up, for 40 minutes. Dunk into cold water when done, the eggplant should be very soft and the skins should be bubbling off. Put the halves into a food processor with about 1/8th C lemon juice, 1/4 C tahini (sesame butter, try your local coop or health food store), 1-3 cloves garlic (depending on how much you like it) and salt and pepper to taste. I also like to add a bit of chili powder if I've got it around. Pulse until blended and chill in the fridge until ready to serve.