Friday, April 29, 2016

Roasted Cauli-Garlic Soup - VEGAN

It was a bit cold yesterday, and grey and rainy - a cool, wet, spring day. I'm not complaining, everything looked very green and I was a bit chilled so the weather made the perfect excuse for a spring soup.

I had saved a recipe on pinterest that looked interesting so I hunted it down to determine if I had the ingredients required and it looked makeable for a big, warm pot of dinner.  Here is the original pin from the recipe that inspired my version of this soup.  I had a bit of a time pulling up the original recipe on mobile as the blog has so many ads and I kept accidentally clicking on them.  It made the original recipe on the phone an annoying experience - watch out.

What caught my attention when I found the recipe was that the soup called for the addition of hummus - that to me seemed wonderfully odd and I liked it!  I have a vegan lasagna recipe that uses garlic hummus mixed with tofu to create the "ricotta cheese" filling and it works really well so I felt good about trying hummus in soup.

Ingredients for Roasted Cauli-Garlic Soup

(I prefer to use all organic ingredients)
1 large onion (white yellow or red)
1 large or 2 small heads of garlic
1 small head of cauliflower
1/2 cup smooth and creamy hummus
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup raw cashews
32-48 oz vegetable broth
1/2 lemon or 1/4t dried lemon peel
1/4 c fresh chopped cilantro
olive oil
salt and pepper

Photo directions -- here goes.

Set a 1/2 cup (mine was heaping) of raw cashews in a bowl and cover with boiling water.  Since I had to set the kettle to boil, I went ahead and enjoyed a cup of tea.  I left the cashews soaking about one hour 15 minutes.

Start the quinoa cooking according to package directions.  I used tri-color quinoa.

Prepare veggies for roasting.  I managed to get them all on one pan, lined with baking paper.  For the garlic heads I just cut off the very top of each.  Drizzle the veggies with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  I roasted the veggies on convection roast at 425F for about 30 mins.  The most important thing is that the cauliflower be soft enough to stab a dinner fork into.

I usually turn the veggies half way through the cooking to get them browned on all sides.  This was half way.

I pulled asided some of the smaller cauliflower pieces to add back into the soup whole for a bit of bite to the pureed finale.

Into the blend went the big chunks of cauliflower and all of the onions.  I also added enough broth to each blender batch so that the blender could do its thing without the mixture being too thick.  My broth was room temperature so the batch wasn't very hot.  If you are blending hot ingredients and especially pureeing a soup - remember to remove the center section from your blender top so that the steam doesn't make the blending dangerous.

I ended up using about 1.5 of these containers by the time the soup was done.  How much broth you use will depend on how thick you want your final product or how much help your blender needs to smooth and blend your ingredients.

Here is the blended cauliflower and onion.

Next, pop the roasted garlic cloves into the blender.  Then add a heaping half cup of hummus.  The original recipe creator called specifically for Sabra hummus because maybe they sponsor her? But I don't use Sabra since their soybean oil and other ingredients are GMO and I avoid all GMO products.


I think the original recipe called for garlic hummus but I didn't have that - mine was original which is why I used two small heads of roasted garlic in my recipe.

It was a bit smoother and thinner and I did add more broth.

Next in - the cashews and quinoa!  Crazy but awesome - love the inventiveness of this recipe by the original creator.

I have a large blender so the entire recipe filled it to the top but it did fit.  Add the blended ingredients all at once or in batches to a soup pot.  Once in the pot, I added more broth until I had the consistency I was looking for and then added in the reserved pieces of cauliflower.

Taste the soup and season.

I added quite a bit more salt but the soup tasted like it needed a bit of brightening up.  I felt like half a lemon squeezed in would have done the trick but I was plum out of lemons.  However, on my last trip to Mom's Organic Market, I had picked up some dried lemon peel from their bulk spice section.  I used about 1/4 teaspoon, maybe a bit more... I didn't measure.  That definitely brightened things up but I thought the soup still needed something herb-y.  Cilantro seemed like the right thing.  I had frozen some freshly chopped cilantro about a week earlier so I grabbed it from the freezer and dumped in the whole bit.

I stirred it in (about 1/4 cup in total).  I tasted again, added a bit more salt, thinned the soup a tad bit more and claimed it ready for dinner.

The original recipe calls this soup a chowder.  It uses a potato and miso paste.  I didn't have either so my recipe differed that way as well.  Also - the original doesn't use the roasted onion but since I wasn't going to use Miso paste I thought I needed the added flavor of the onion.  This soup didn't say chowder to me, it was more like a nice thick bowl of soup puree.  It was delish.  Enjoy. Cheers. Sher.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Crushing on Roasted Garbanzos!

Hey Folks - Anyone still out there remember me? It's been SEVEN MONTHS since I've posted here.  So let's get right to it.  Lately I've been obsessed with Roasted Garbanzos.  Here's how I make them (photos first then explanation).

Set oven to 400 degrees F.

Rinse and drain beans (I used two cans for this batch).

Drizzle with oil of your choice (I used Olive Oil).  I didn't measure...all the beans should be lightly coated but not swimming in oil.

Add spices of your choice.  My favorite combo is Sea Salt, Granulated Garlic and Cayenne.  (I've tried tons of other options including curry and Italian herb, etc).  I sprinkle on the spices, taste, sprinkle some more, taste... that's my measuring method.

Toss beans in the oil and spices to coat.

Dump onto a baking pan.  I like to cover mine with parchment paper. Spread out into one layer.

Set oven for 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes, pull the pan out and giggle it around or toss them with a utensil so that they roll around a bit.  You will see they have lost some of their oily shine and perhaps shrunk a bit which is what you want.

Add another 15 minutes to the timer.  Pull out and check again.  They will look smaller, darker and they will feel harder.  I don't mind having some really crunchy and others cruchy-ish but if you want them all crunchy, you might need another 5 or ten mins.  Try not to let them burn.

Remove from the oven.  Try one... if the flavor is the way you like it, you are done.  Often times, I find they need a light dose of one or more spices while they are still warm from the oven.  I sprinkle a bit more of whatever is lacking, toss them on the pan and let them cool a bit.

I pickup the sides of the parchment and form a bit of a funnel shape to pour the beans off into a bowl.

Now - enjoy their gorgeous roasty color and see if you can keep your hands out of the bowl!

NOTE: they are beans... and they taste like a snack but they will still do all the things beans do (you know what I'm talking about), so keep that in mind.  Delish! Pair with a beverage or a tall glass of water, you'll need it!

Enjoy - Cheers! Sher
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