Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Roasted chickpeas and zucchini soup

Roasted chickpeas and zucchini soup

No, I am not dead. I am just overwhelmed with school. Fortunately, Christmas Holidays begins next week (hurray!), so although I will have to work anyway (the last day to finish my research project is getting closer. Tic-tack, tic-tack…), at least I will have time to breathe.

Rain on the window

It has been awfully rainy and cold the past three days because of a Siberian cold front.  It’s not that I hate cold (I love visiting Moscow for Christmas, and that would be certainly a problem). I hate cold without snow.  With that kind of weather, the best you can do is to curly up in your sofa,  cover yourself with a blanket and read a book while sipping your hot tea (or chocolate, if you prefer it).  I am looking forward my school break to do that. Instead of it, yesterday I had to curl up with a geography textbook (I had the exam today), and it lost most of its charm.

Homework + music...I can't work in silence!
I can’t study without music. I don’t know why, but I got used to it….and now I just can’t concentrate in complete silence.

I haven’t cooked too much lately. Some days my mother does baked potatoes with extra ones for me without asking me before, and I can’t say no (could you?). When I have sweet potatoes in the fridge, I don’t need anything more and cooking something else seems just stupid. It’s a pity that a person can’t live just on sweet potatoes.  On other days I just don’t have the time, or I am not at home.  I have school until 14.30 every day except Thursday, when I have a split shift. Because I don’t have time to come back to home, I spend the hour and half I have in a café near school. The place is OK, but you still feel the bitterness of the coffee after adding the two packets of sugar. But some weeks ago I discovered another café (half an hour from school, tough) where you can order coffee with SOYMILK! I know people who live in vegan-friendly places will think it’s nothing out of this world, but apart from Starbucks (which you can only find in Barcelona, by the way) I don’t know any other café who offers it. So sometimes I just don’t come back at home until 6PM or so because I stay there doing homework. It is cozier, not as cold and smells better than the library. The only minus? They have nothing vegan to eat.

Roasted chickpeas

I know it sounds strange, but I concentrate better there than in a library and of course better than at home. I just can’t work at home. My mind seems to go somewhere else when I try to focus on some task. So it worth wait a little bit more to eat because I do twice as homework there.

Books...I love reading, but I have been doing too much lately. And not the books I would liked to...

And talking about coffee, I am working on a special post about this addictive and caffeinated drink. I thought about cooking something with coffee (maybe a dessert. I love how it enhances the flavor any cake!), plus collecting recipes from the web, some graphics (I found such a cute icons!) and extra stuff.   

I know what are you thinking: “Stop pestering me and go on with the recipe” (sometimes I have to remind myself that this is a blog about food). So, for those you dislike chilly and rainy days, I have the perfect recipe today: a smooth, warm roasted chickpeas and zucchini soup!

Roasted chickpeas and zucchini soup

Roasted chickpeas and zucchini soup  - add coconut milk on top too for extra flavor!
Recipe form: ~ original recipe ~

Serves: 3-4
-2 medium zucchinis (or 1 large)
-2 cups water or stock
-2 cups chickpeas
-2 tsp chickpeas seasoning blend
-1/4 cup coconut milk (optional)
-oil (I used olive oil)

I love chickpeas, and I can snack on them like some people snack on chips or candy (which is great, because it’s a healthier addiction).  My family is usually quite skeptical about vegan food, but they all love chickpeas. Some days ago I sautéed them with some chana masala, a spices mix used with chickpeas….and they didn’t leave any leftovers!  It also works great with sweet paprika (here is called pimentón dulce). My father likes chickpeas, but he is crazy about hummus. Especially with a lot of garlic. I love it too, but sometimes you fancy something different, and the zucchini/chickpeas combo works perfectly. Add a little bit of vegetal milk (I strongly recommend coconut), extra seasoning for more spiciness, cover it with more coconut milk, nuts (or even raisins as I did. The savory and sweet combination is terrific!), olive oil and…voilà!

Heat 1 or 2 tsp of oil on a saucepan and add 1tsp of the chickpeas seasoning.
Add the chickpeas and sauté for 5 minutes or until they become golden and crispy.
Set aside.

Put the water (or stock) to boil and add the chopped zucchini, salt, coconut milk and another tsp of seasoning.
Boil until they become tender, about 10 min. Turn off the heat. Let the cool a little bit.

Put the zucchini (stock included) and the roasted chickpeas in a blender. Puree until you get the desired consistency.
Add a little bit more coconut milk, salt and spices if desired.
Serve with chana dal or some nuts, extra coconut milk and olive oil on top.


blessedmama said...

How happy I am to have found you?! I was doing a search for pelmini to make for Christmas and came across your blog. And you have a recipe for vegan pelmini! Well, I wasn't doing a search for vegan pelmini because it never crossed my mind that such a recipe would exist. But, I am vegan. And my family is from Russia. So, now we have that in common! Anyways, thanks for your blog. Keep it up. Happy holidays!

blessedmama said...

Hello, again. Thanks for visiting my blog. :) I had already made you one of my favorites, but I'm going to add you on as a link as well. Have a great week!

Ola said...

I also adore you blog :)

could you tell me please what's in chickpeas seasoning blend - I haven't got a clue but would like to try the recipe very much .

Warm regards

Ksenia said...

Hi Ola :)

Thanks for your lovely words! Reader's comments is what helps me to keep on blogging :D

Sorry for being so ambiguous with the seasoning, but the reason was because there are many brands (I used one called MDH Chana Masala) and many recipes that would work great: just use the spices you like the most :)

The ingredients list of the seasoning that I used is:
coriander, salt, dry mango, pomegranate seeds, chili, cumin, musk melon, black pepper, black salt, fenugreek leaves, cloves, mint, nutmeg, dry ginger, cinnamon, bay leaf, cardamom ammomum seeds, caraway, mace.

As you can see, is easier and much quicker to use a store-bought seasoning blend...although freshly ground spices are MUCH better. If you have the time, do it: they really make the difference. You can always do more than you need for the recipe and keep it in an airtight container.

By the way, I loved your photography portfolio very much :) Your photos are AMAZING :D I know how difficult it is to achieve a good and creative shot (usually I don't xD), and I take my hat off to people who can :))

I visited England four years ago in a student's exchange. It would be nice to go there again someday ^^

Philip Seyfi said...

I'm kinda similar in that I also can't work or study in complete silence... A good music and preferably also a good drink (ex. pomegranate juice ^^) are crucial to my concentration :)