Quinoa Minestone Soup with Kale Pesto

Quinoa Minestone Soup with Kale Pesto

Hello Everyone! Week 2 of cooking with quinoa is here and I’ve got a classic recipe with a twist. For those of you who don’t know, minestrone soup is a thick soup of Italian origin made with vegetables that range from, but are not limited to, beans, onions, celery, carrots, and tomatoes. Often, rice or pasta is added to the soup to bulk it up with some carbs. There is no set recipe for minestrone, since it is usually made out of whatever vegetables are in season. It can be vegetarian, contain meat, or contain a meat-based broth.

I’ve made this soup a couple of times before in the past, and is featured in the Mediterranean section of my blog – but today, I’m going to add a little twist to a traditional minestrone soup. I’m switching out the pasta that I would normally add to my soup, with quinoa. Using quinoa in place of pasta adds extra protein and makes this soup gluten free! In addition to using quinoa for this soup, I’m topping it off with some kale pesto as well to give the dish a touch of freshness – and of course, if you have any extra leftover, you can totally whip up another dish just by mixing it through some freshly cooked pasta! Top it of with some grilled chicken or seared tiger prawns for a complete lunch or dinner. The original recipe for this dish can be found over on Taste Australia.

Quinoa Minestone Soup with Kale Pesto Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 20 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

For the soup

  • 1 can (400g) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (410g) Italian chopped tomatoes
  • 150g bacon, diced
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup tri-coloured quinoa, rinsed
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 celery stick, sliced
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 large brown onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium-sized carrot, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1 medium-sized zucchini, cut into small chunks

For the kale pesto

  • 2 & 1/2 cups kale leaves, shredded
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 small garlic clove, halved
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp water

METHOD

  1. For the Soup: Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the bacon bits and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until browned. Remove from the pot and set aside.
  2. Turn the heat up to high and then add in the garlic. Sauté until golden brown and fragrant, about a minute or so. Then add in the onions and cooking, stirring, until soft, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add in the carrot and celery, together with the bay leaf, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes or until soft.
  4. Next, add in the chicken stock and canned chopped tomatoes to the pot. Bring to the boil.
  5. Once boiling, reduce the heat down to medium-low and then stir in the quinoa. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in zucchini. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, and then add in the cannellini beans. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes or until the quinoa and zucchini are tender. Season with a touch of ground salt and pepper.
  7. For the Kale Pesto: Add the kale leaves, parmesan cheese, and garlic into a food processor and process until finely chopped. Combine the juice, oil, and water in a jug, and slowly stream the juice mixture into the kale mixture until well combined. Season.
  8. Divide soup among four equal bowls and top with the kale pesto and extra parmesan if you wish.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Quinoa Minestone Soup with Kale Pesto

Quinoa Minestone Soup with Kale Pesto

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Advertisements
Spinach, Carrot, and Zucchini Dog Treats

Spinach, Carrot, and Zucchini Dog Treats

Happy Birthday Blacky!

Hello Everyone! Wow I’m definitely on a roll here with the recipes – posting 3 back-to-back for this week! Well, the only reason for that is just because two very special days just happened to sandwich my normal Wednesday post schedule. So yes, today is indeed another special day and having read the title of this recipe, you already know who’s special day it is. Of course it is none other than my not so baby boy anymore, Blacky! Happy 6th Birthday to my Mutt Blacky, or as my friends have nicknamed him, Mr. Black and Cinnabon (because of his cinnamon scroll-like tail).

Last year a made him a batch of bacon doggie treats, and since the theme of my blog for this month is vegan, I decided to make him a healthy treat this time ’round. Okay, okay. I know. This isn’t vegan treat, but I realised a little bit too late when I was photographing the ingredients for this recipe. I guess I could’ve easily omitted the eggs from the recipe – but would that have somehow ruined the recipe altogether? Or is there a substitute for the eggs that I could’ve used instead? Any vegans out there please let me know in the comments section below. Thank you 🙂

Spinach, Carrot, and Zucchini Dog Treats

That aside, I know Blacky hates his vegetables. Whenever we feed him some soup with meat, veggies, and rice, he is able to pick out anything green that he sees in his bowl. I thought that maybe by hiding some greens into a doggie treat, he wouldn’t notice and eat them. I guess I was wrong…ish. He still ate the treat, but it looked like he was being very picky in the beginning by just playing around with them, but not actually eating them. Then after a few hours, he’d eat half of the biscuit. Then by the end of the day, once I’m home from work, he’d show off and eat the rest of them and made sure that I saw him eating it. What a clever and devilish dog he is haha!

Once again, Happy Birthday Blacky! Original recipe can be found over on Damn Delicious.

Spinach, Carrot, and Zucchini Dog Treats Ingredients

PREP TIME 5-8 MINS | COOKING TIME min. 40 MINS | SERVES 75 BISCUITS

INGREDIENTS

  • 225g pumpkin, steamed and then puréed*
  • 3 cups wholewheat flour, or more as needed
  • 1 cup baby spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 1 zucchini, shredded

*225g of pumpkin should be able to make 1 cup of cooled pumpkin purée which is needed for this recipe

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4). Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and then set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cooled pumpkin purée, peanut butter, and eggs on medium-high until well combined, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Gradually add the old fashioned oats and 2 1/2 cups flour at low speed, beating just until incorporated. Add an additional 1/4 cup flour at a time just until the dough is no longer sticky. Then, add in the carrot, zucchini, and spinach, beating just until incorporated.
  4. Working on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 3-4 times until it comes together. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes and place onto the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Place into oven and bake until the edges are golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.**
  6. Let cool completely. Makes about 75 biscuits.***

**Baking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the treats.
***Serving size will also vary depending on the desired shapes and cookie cutters used.

Spinach, Carrot, and Zucchini Dog Treats

Spinach, Carrot, and Zucchini Dog Treats

So just like last year, I decided to try the biscuits for myself. Of course, they tasted really bland to me because I didn’t add any sugar or anything to sweeten it up a bit. I gave some to my Mom and sister to try, and my Mom actually liked them. Because I ended up making around 75 biscuits, I asked my Mom if I could give them to a colleague of mine who also has a dog. To which my Mom replied, “No, I will eat them” *crying laughing face emoji* Well, at least I know someone in the house will finish them if Blacky can’t! Hahaha!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Pappardelle with Homemade Cheese-stuffed Meatballs

Pappardelle with Homemade Cheese-stuffed Meatballs

Pappardelle with Homemade Cheese-stuffed Meatballs

Hello Everyone! Oh wow – it has definitely been a while since I last updated my blog (well, I don’t think two weeks is “a while” but it definitely is for me)! I feel like I’ve lost touch on how to write since my last post, but I’m guessing that it is just the fatigue speaking here. In a nutshell, I’ve been super busy for the past two months, and it was really difficult for me to just sit down and write with a clear mind. I had been staying in the office until 9/9:30pm every night and have been working on Sunday’s as well since April. I know I shouldn’t be complaining because my other colleagues already do this on a daily basis and stay even later as well – it’s just that I am not used to this way of working.

Anyway! So what have I been up to? I don’t even remember if I have mentioned this in any of my previous blog posts – if I have, the annual Sukan Ria Antara Syarikat Inter-company Sports Fest 2016 finally closed two Sunday’s ago. You would think that that would be such a relief, but nooooooo! Just 3 days later, the opening of the 18th Consumer Fair snuck up on us, and that lasted up until Sunday. Though things have slowed down a bit, I still feel the stress from the past 2 months – and I believe it’s just because I haven’t had a proper rest yet. That’s right, right after the closing of the 18th Consumer Fair, we still had to report to work the next day at 8am *sigh*. Well, I’m just excited and really looking forward to the upcoming long weekend to just sit back, relax, and catch up on some cooking for my blog (doesn’t exactly scream relaxing, but cooking does made me happy).

Homemade Cheese-stuffed Meatballs

For the month of June, I will be sharing some delicious pasta recipes with you. I do believe that I mentioned about sharing some yummy mango recipes with you for this month – but I unfortunately did not have any time at all to make any dishes at all and mangoes are not in season anymore. So here’s a recipe for a classic bolognese sauce with pappardelle and homemade meatballs:

Pappardelle with Homemade Cheese-stuffed Meatballs Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

For the sauce

  • 250g pappardelle (or any other pasta)
  • 125g baby brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup of chicken or beef stock
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3 dried bay leaves
  • 1 celery stick, sliced
  • 1 medium-sized carrot, cut into small chunks
  • 1 red birds-eye chilli, sliced (optional for that added kick of spice)
  • 1/2 green capsicum, diced
  • 1/2 medium-sized red onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • Knob of unsalted butter
  • Mozzarella cheese, grated

For the meatballs

  • 250g minced beef
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 1/2 medium-sized red onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs*
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Bocconcini balls
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper to taste

*You can buy readily made bread crumbs from the shelves or you can make your own by lightly toasting some stale bread (if you have some in handy) and then blitz it in the food processor.

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 190C (375F or gas mark 5). Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. For the meatballs: Add all the ingredients, except for the bocconcini balls, to a large bowl and mix until well combined. Shape the mixture into small to medium-sized balls and press a bocconcini ball (cut into smaller pieces if it is too big) into the meatball. Gently place onto the prepared baking tray and repeat with the remaining meat, about a dozen to fifteen balls altogether depending on the size. Place in the oven and bake until browned, about 10 minutes. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. For the sauce: Heat about a tablespoon of oil together with a knob of unsalted butter in a large frying pan over medium-high. Sauté the garlic until golden and fragrant, then add the chillies and onions. Sauté until the onions are soft and then add in carrots, followed by the celery, and then the mushrooms. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and oregano. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft.
  4. Add the dried bay leaves, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, and stock. Give it a good mix and then turn the heat down to low, cover and let it simmer for about 15 minutes to allow the flavours to blend. Finally, add in the capsicum and meatballs, cooking for a further 5-8 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the pappardelle according to packet instructions.
  6. Remove the sauce from the heat and serve over the hot pasta. Top with the meatballs and a handful of grated mozzarella cheese. Enjoy!

Pappardelle with Homemade Cheese-stuffed Meatballs

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Apple, Carrot, & Celery Juice

Hello Everyone and a very Happy New Year to all my family, friends, and followers! I’ll keep this part short, and probably write more in my next post as it’s currently way past bedtime for me here in Brunei. I just want to let you guys know that Amcarmen’s Kitchen is back for 2016, kicking it off with some health juices for the month of January! I am also back with an all new upload schedule, which I will probably explain in next week’s post – but basically, from today onwards, tune in to Amcarmen’s Kitchen every Wednesday night for a new post!

So, I think the combination was meant to go like Apple + Carrot + Tomato, in which, this combination helps to improve skin complexion and eliminate bad breath, but we never got around to juicing up this combination – maybe because we didn’t have tomatoes in our vegetable compartment that time? Anyway, we had celery and used that instead. I’m not sure now what health benefits this combination with celery provide, but celery contains an excellent source of vitamin K which is beneficial to the human body as it is required for complete production of certain proteins that are prerequisites for blood coagulation. Our bodies need this for controlling the binding of calcium in bones and other tissues. Other health benefits of celery include: vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and despite being mainly water, celery also provides a fair amount of dietary fibre. So mix that in with some sweet apples and a carrot for more rich vitamins and minerals such as iron, copper, and manganese, and you’ve got yourself a tasty and super healthy juice!

Apple, Carrot, & Celery Juice

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large green or red apple, quartered and cored
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into thirds
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into thirds

METHOD

  1. Juice all the ingredients using an electric juicer. Pour into a tall glass and add ice if you want your juice cold. Serve and enjoy, especially on a hot tropical afternoon for a nice refresher!

You may also replace the celery with about a half teaspoon of ginger juice. This combination helps to boost and cleanse our system. Happy juicing everyone!

Apple, Carrot, & Ginger Juice

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Sadhana Kitchen

Sadhana Kitchen

Hello Everyone! Not only is it another Review Sunday but it is also my 100th post on the blog! 10 months ago I started this blog out of pure procrastination. Basically I was bored over the Easter break and was in no mood to tackle the many assignments that I had at the time for uni. Thus this blog was born. I have long been interested in food even way before 10 months ago, and was encouraged by many to start up a blog. I can say now that what was once just hobby, I have now grown to put much more effort into each dish that I prepare and into each blog post that goes up 3 times a week. I don’t want to say that blogging is now my ‘job’ as it sounds a little bit like ‘I have to do it’ kind of thing. It’s not about me having to do a blog post for everyone out there, but it is more like I do it because I want to do it – if that makes any sense? Anyway, I am just super happy about how well I have been doing with my blog and I have some exciting new changes coming up in the next few months. I am also looking to building up my followers both on wordpress and other social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, so if any of you guys out there have any tips on how to do this, your help/knowledge will be much appreciated!

Sadhana Kitchen

Now on to today’s post – Sadhana Kitchen! I first came to know about this little gem through posts on Instagram from various food bloggers. What attracted me to their menu was that the food they served was always so colourful through the uploads I came across while browsing through my newsfeed. The great thing about Sadhana Kitchen, even though it does not really matter in my case, is that they are gluten-free, organic, raw, and vegan – Sydney’s first organic wholefoods and raw foods café. Now, when I made mention that it does not really matter to me, I meant that I am not gluten intolerant, nor am I a vegan, but I was quite intrigued as to what kind of foods do those with dietary requirements eat since I am a person who can eat almost anything and everything. I often find myself saying how I’d never go vegetarian or vegan because I love meat too much to give it up but after paying a visit to Sadhana Kitchen, I have a whole new appreciation for healthy, organic, and raw superfoods. Though I don’t think that I will ever find myself converting, maybe not right now that is. I can’t say what will happen in the future, maybe tomorrow I will wake up and suddenly transform into a ‘crazy vegan lady’ as one of the waitresses mentioned about her obsession over veganism.

I’ve been here a total of two times, both with friends whom I know to have an appreciation for healthy foods but not necessarily vegans themselves. I thought that they’d be the perfect company for a nice weekend lunch. What was funny though was that one of my friends that I went with (she who shall not be named, but you know who you are), actually asked the lady at the counter if they put any ice cream in their smoothies – I mean, even after my other friend and I explained to her that they would definitely not put ice cream in their smoothies since its all about the vegan. The lady gave her a sort of weirded out look and said that they only use frozen fruits in their smoothies. Though I felt bad, I could not stop laughing on the inside.

This place I feel could do with a lot more seating space. Both times that I’ve been, and not even on the hour when normal people have their breakfast and/or lunch, like I’m talking 2 o’clock in the afternoon, it’s always packed. The first time we visited we were lucky enough to snag the only table left, but the second time around we weren’t so lucky. We waited about 20 minutes before we could run and grab a table, and after we did the place started empty out slowly.

Sadhana Kitchen - FRAPPES: PITAYA PUNCHFRAPPES: PITAYA PUNCH
Pitaya (dragon fruit), strawberries, banana, and orange ($9.50)

I love dragon fruit, but even though this is called a ‘pitaya’ smoothie, the banana taste came across more predominantly. A refreshing smoothie nonetheless and had a very vibrant colour to it which made it even more appealing to the eye.

Sadhana Kitchen - GREEN SMOOTHIES: COOL MINT
GREEN SMOOTHIES: COOL MINT
Seasonal greens, orange, mango, and flax seeds. Vitamin, mineral, and fibre booster with omega-3 fatty acids ($9.50)

Though I wasn’t quite sure about what greens were added to the smoothie (but I’m guessing either kale, spinach, or even both), the mint flavour really came through. Again, refreshing for a warm summer day.

Sadhana Kitchen - SUPERFOOD SMOOTHIES: WARRIOR SMOOTHIESUPERFOOD SMOOTHIES: WARRIOR SMOOTHIE
Blueberries, raspberries, banana, sprouted brown rice protein powder, chia seeds, coconut oil, mesquite, and almonds. Packed with muscle building cholesterol free protein, omega-3 for brain function, and calcium & manganese for healthy bones ($9.50)

The epic of smoothies! Very thick though so it was a bit difficult to drink from the straw.

Sadhana Kitchen - RAW SANDWICHES: BLAT
RAW SANDWICHES: BLAT
Sadhana coconut bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato, coriander and house-made mayo, in between two sliced of onion bread ($14.50)

What intrigued me about this dish was the ‘coconut bacon’ which basically was just coconut that was made to look like bacon and even had the texture of bacon. I’m not sure about whether it’s an innovative way of thinking from Sadhana Kitchen, as in if it’s actually already a thing that someone else came up with, but definitely creative idea!

Sadhana Kitchen - SADHANA LASAGNE
SADHANA LASAGNE
Layers of zucchini pasta, cultured cashew cheeze, basil pesto, walnut mince, wilted spinach, and chunky tomato sauce ($15.50)

This was the dish that I had the first time I came around to visiting Sadhana Kitchen. Don’t be fooled by the size of it on the dish, it actually filled me up good! Loved the flavours of the dish and that walnut mince really looked like meat mince that you’d find in your traditional lasagne.

Sadhana Kitchen - CARROT AND WALNUT FALAFEL PLATE
CARROT AND WALNUT FALAFEL PLATE
Carrot and walnut falafels served with seasonal greens, pickles, olives, zucchini hummus, and beet dip ($16.50)

This was the other dish that I had the second time around. I initially wanted to order their Prana Pad Thai which had kelp and zucchini noodles, but they unfortunately ran out. I had no regrets though because this dish did not only look pretty on the plate and appealing to the eye, it had great flavour and was also surprisingly filling (just not a filling as the lasagne of course). The ‘falafels’ had a nice crunch to them as well as a roasted flavour. The dips complimented them nicely and the salad on the side really enhanced the flavours that it needed to bring it to the next level of flavour satisfaction.

Sadhana Kitchen - SADHANA SUPER BOWL
SADHANA SUPER BOWL
Shredded kale, house-made sauerkraut, cherry tomato, cucumber, and pesto zoodles served with Brazil nut cheddar, sundried tomato, and smoked paprika hummus ($17.50)

I’m not quite sure as to how this dish tasted, only because this wasn’t my dish to consume. I had a taste of the zoodles (zucchini noodle) but that was basically it. To me, this dish looked like a bowl of vegetables – that’s it really, though my friend did find it quite satisfying.

Sadhana Kitchen


SNICKERS CHEEZECAKE
Cashews, almonds, walnuts, desiccated coconut, coconut oil, coconut sugar, vanilla, dates, sesame, and salt ($12.50)

This cheezecake was made with layers of nougat creme, milk chocolate, and chocolate ganache topped with caramelised nut clusters. Probably my favourite from the two of the cakes we had. The flavour really came through as it almost tasted like a traditional snickers bar – when I say traditional, I mean it in a way that it doesn’t taste like the vegan alternative.

Sadhana Kitchen - WHITE CHOCOLATE & SALTED CARAMEL BANOFFEE PIE
WHITE CHOCOLATE & SALTED CARAMEL BANOFFEE PIE
Cashews, desiccated coconut, coconut oil, stevia, cacao butter, sesame, vanilla, dates, maca, mesquite, and lucuma salt ($12.50)

This banoffee pie was made of layers of banana creme, salted caramel creme, and white chocolate creme on a walnut & coconut biscuit base. The name itself was already enough for me to be sold on ordering it, but I must say that that was probably the only good thing about it, the name. I don’t know what it was, but the cake didn’t quite tickle my fancy. I think it was the taste of it? Like the banana tasted a bit off, not that they used a bad banana, but it was more like you know it’s supposed to be banana, but it doesn’t taste like banana kind of thing. It was also the cake that was ignored for a while on the table when we dug into our desserts.

Sadhana Kitchen - SALTED CARAMEL SUNDAE COCOWHIP
SALTED CARAMEL SUNDAE COCOWHIP
Twisted SK coconut cocowhip, topped with half a caramel slice, cacao nibs, himalayan pink salt, and house made superfood caramel sauce ($13.00)

The second time we came around to visiting Sadhana Kitchen, it was all about the cocowhip hype. To be honest, it was alright. Loved the added toppings, but I felt like the cocowhip was a little bit too soft. By the time we dug in and had about 2-3 spoons each, it was almost like soup, and it wasn’t even a particularly hot day as well for it to melt so fast!

Before I end, here are a few things that you might want to know about organic/raw foods, and veganism:

  • Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products and by-products, particularly in diet.
  • Foods that are prepared and processed without exceeding 40°C are known to be raw. This way of preparation allows the food’s natural enzymes to stay intact, which in return gives your body the most benefit and easy digestion.
  • The best place to start improving your health is by improving what you eat. This is the main reason why Sadhana Kitchen insist on using only pure, organic seasonal produce that is free from harmful toxins to create delicious dishes.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this place for those who are fans of organic and raw foods, and of course those who are all about the vegan. I would also recommend this for those who are experimenting with food and are open to broadening their palettes. Like I said, I would probably never go vegan myself, but having experienced the foods has really made me appreciate how else it can be prepared and still be as filling and delicious as what I am used to eating. The food is a definite 8.5 out of 10 for me. Their main menu was the stand out, but their dessert disappointed a bit, even though I was even more excited for their dessert menu. Service was good, and the ambience could be a bit better. Value for money is variable, I don’t know about spending $12.50 for a slice of cake. I definitely hope to visit again soon as I am curious to know what the vegan substitute for their ‘eggs benny’ is and their prana pad thai with kelp and zucchini noodles looks too good to pass up! *drooling*

Sadhana Kitchen

Sadhana Kitchen
147 Enmore Road
Enmore, New South Wales
Australia, 2042

– Ally xx

Spicy Carrot, Chickpea & Almond Soup with Roasted Croutons

Spicy Carrot, Chickpea & Almond Soup with Roasted Croutons

Hello Everyone! Sorry for the lack of posts once again. I’ve been a bit busy with University, preparing for the last 2 weeks to go! It’s been hectic! Also, the weather hasn’t been very cheerful for the past couple of days. Winter is definitely kicking in! It’s cold, damp and miserable. On occasions there’d be rays of sunshine, but Sydney weather being deceptive and all, the sunshine never lasts long. So what better way to warm up that a nice bowl of spicy soup with crunchy croutons? Soup has never tasted so good.

Today I cooked from the UNSW Student Cookbook, a recipe by Serena Coady. This dish was served at the Cookbook Launch last week and I fell in love with it. It tasted so good that I really wanted to make a whole bowl for myself after a measly taste test without the croutons. Today was definitely the perfect time to whip it up. I tweaked the recipe just a bit in terms of using different bread, herbs and beans, and leaving the sour cream as is, but otherwise I pretty much followed the recipe.

To be honest, the title of this recipe doesn’t quite live up to it – the spicy part that was. I was a bit disappointed that my soup was not spicy at all, like I wouldn’t even say it was mildly spicy. So I may have added a bit too much of dried chilli flakes to give it that kick that I was after. Now that really grasped the word ‘spicy’! It may just be cultural thing, I know a lot of my Western friends who can’t take anything spicy at all, or even calling a dish that had a dash of paprika in it ‘really spicy’. I seriously have no comment for that.

Spicy Carrot, Chickpea & Almond Soup with Roasted Croutons Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 25 MINS SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 medium brown onion, diced
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 can (400g) chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 cup flaked almonds
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 3-4 slices of Pane di Casa bread from Bakers Delight
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Dollop of sour cream
  • Ground salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 250C.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pot over medium to high heat and sauté onions until soft, about 2 minutes. Add in the carrots with the chillies, paprika and oregano and sauté until combined. Season with a touch of salt and pepper. Increase the heat to high and stir intermittently for 15 minutes until carrots are tender and browned. Add the vegetable stock and chickpeas and bring to a boil. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Add the almond flakes into the soup, saving some for garnish later.
  3. Meanwhile, spread the flaked almonds on a lined baking tray and place in the oven for about 5 minutes or until the flakes are golden brown. Remove and set aside.
  4. Rip the slices of bread into bite size pieces and toss with 1/4 cup of olive oil in a small bowl. Spread onto the same lined baking tray and roast in the oven for about 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside.
  5. Pour the soup over into a blender (working in batches if I does not all fit) and blend on low speed for about a minute until well combined and smooth. Pour into a bowl and add a dollop of sour cream. Sprinkle with almonds, croutons, and paprika. Serve.

Spicy Carrot, Chickpea & Almond Soup with Roasted Croutons

A definite favourite winter warmer.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com