Monday, May 14, 2007

What was I thinking?: Chickpea and Roasted Garlic Soup

After the success of the white bean and roasted garlic soup, I thought I'd try a different version, one that I got out of a skincare book.

No, really.

The teaser for the soup reads: This hearty soup is thick and wonderfully rich. Chickpeas help the digestive system, which in turn helps clear up complexion problems. The garlic is sweet from the roasting and a good boost for your immune system

Chickpea and Roasted Garlic Soup from "The Ciminelli Solution."
Serves 6 to 8

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped (I used like 6 baby carrots)
1 stalk celery, chopped (I omitted this)
2 cups cooked chickpeas (I used canned)
1 large head roasted garlic
2 tsp freshly chopped rosemary (I used dry)
2 quarts chicken stock (I used vegetable broth)
sea salt
freshly ground white pepper (I used black)
juice and zest from 1 lemon (I skipped this)
1/2 cup freshly chopped flat leaf parsley (I skipped this)

Don't forget to roast your garlic!
1. In a soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add vegetables and saute for 10 minutes. Add the chickpeas, roasted garlic, rosemary, and stock. Cook 20 minutes.
2. Transfer soup into a blender or use an immersion blender and puree until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and reheat. Taste and adjust seasonings.
3. Just before serving, add lemon juice and zest and parsley.

Chef's notes:
The soup sounded good. And easy. But it wasn't. It didn't look like the last soup. It was extremely watery, so I continued to add chickpeas and carrots. It didn't really help. Finally I quit.

Now I have a zillion containers of this in my freezer to eat if I'm ever too poor to buy food.

Really, it wasn't gross. It just wasn't good.

Skip this one kids.

It's not worthy of photos.

I Can't Believe it's Vegan: Cinnamon Raisin Bran Muffins

Oh. My. Lord. These muffins are to die for. Seriously, they're the best muffins ever. You have to believe me. And I found them when I was weeding through all the vegan baking websites on the net.

From (recipe is adapted from Sweet and Natural Baking)

Cinnamon Raisin Bran Muffins: makes 1 dozen


1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat bran
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup grade b maple syrup
3/4 cup vanilla soy milk (I used plan and it tasted fine)
2 tbsp vegitable oil
1 cup raisins

1). Preheat oven to 350 and grease 12 muffin cups or tin.
2). In a large bowl, mix together flours, wheat bran, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
3). In a small bowl, whisk together maple syrup, soymilk, and vegitable oil. Pour into flour mixture and stir until just combined. Then add raisins.
4). Distribute mix evenly into greased muffin cups.
5). Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Chef's notes:
1). The recipe actually claims to only make 10 muffins, but I made 12 and still had batter to lick.
2). The great thing about vegan baking? You don't have to worry about salmanella or getting sick from raw eggs.
3). To spice things up I added 1 tbsp of flax seeds. In theory it sounded great, but whenever I bit into a seed I felt like I broke a tooth. Maybe next time I'll try grinding the flax seeds.
4). One dozen bran muffins lasted me 36 hours and I only shared one muffin with Steph. Note to self: make a double batch next time.
5). I love these, even more than the poppy seed muffins.

These are perfect for breakfast, a snack, or when you're on the run. Or if you need more fiber in your diet.

I wonder how they'll taste if I use only wheat flour?

Note: Josie did not like the bran muffins.

Pictures to follow as soon as I make another batch.