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

Prawn & Mango Vermicelli Salad

Prawn & Mango Vermicelli Salad

UNSW Student Cookbook 2014: Photoshoot
Getting my dish styled and photographed for the cookbook

Hello Everyone! So about a month ago or so I entered a recipe into this year’s UNSW Student Cookbook 2014. The theme for this year was “Simple Recipes to Impress” or as it is aptly referred as “Simprecipes”. I originally submitted a recipe for fried chicken wings with a prawn and mango vermicelli salad, but since there was another chicken wing entry that already made the cookbook, I was asked to tweak my recipe and just submit the salad. Though it wasn’t quite what I submitted originally, I was still very happy that it was chosen – they loved it for the bright and fresh colours! I also realised though that mangoes are out of season in Australia right now so I doubt anyone will be trying out my recipe until the summer. Sucks. That’s why I love the tropics, all year round mangoes!

Today was the official launch of the cookbook and it was a great turnout! Good food, good drinks, good music. I helped with setting up in the morning, preparing the platters to go out, serving, and a little bit of packing up at the end. Oh and I also got to meet Kumar Pereira, Masterchef Australia’s Season 3 and Allstars contestant. Such a sweet and loving guy! Here’s my entry for the cookbook (I will also post the recipe down below if it’s a bit hard to read from the photo):

Prawn & Mango Vermicelli Salad


PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 10 MINS SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

For the salad:

  • 200g rice vermicelli noodles
  • 500g cooked prawns, shelled and deveined
  • 2 ripe mangoes, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 bunch fresh mint leaves, loosely torn
  • 1 red bird’s eye chilli, sliced
  • 1/4 cup unsalted peanuts plus extra to serve, finely chopped
  • 1/4 head red cabbage, finely sliced

For the chilli-lime sauce:

  • 4 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 4 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 red bird’s eye chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped

METHOD

  1. In a medium-szied bowl, soak the rice vermicelli noodles in lukewarm water until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Combine sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix well (yields about 1/2 cup of sauce).
  3. Add the salad ingredients to a large bowl and mix through. Dress with the chilli-lime sauce and toss to combine. I’m a huge fan of all things spicy so don’t be afraid to add more chillies for those spicy-lovers out there!
  4. Garnish with extra peanuts and a few mint leaves. Serve.

This recipe is all about the intense variety of flavours, so invest in quality ingredients to really give it the best punch. It’s easy and super tasty! The bold flavours definitely won’t disappoint!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com