Thursday, April 30, 2009

Garlic, Spinach & Chickpea Soup with Apple Cinnamon Biscuits

this soup is based on something i ordered at a little café in the city, though i've changed it so many times, it would now be unrecognizable. i made this for supper last night. it has become one of my fav soups.

Garlic, Spinach & Chickpea Soup
1 large onion, finely chopped
5 or more cloves garlic, minced
spices ~ 1 or 2 tsp crushed fennel seed, pinch cayenne, pinch paprika
a couple of handfuls of spinach*, finely sliced
half a red pepper, cut into a small dice
1 fennel (anise) bulb, sliced
3 small potatoes, cubed or half moon
2 cans (13 ½ oz, 398 ml) chickpeas, rinsed well & drained, or 3 cups cooked
4 cups veg stock, simmered to a boil
1 can coconut milk (13 ½ oz, 398 ml)
2 Tbsp 'butter'
handful of fresh herbs, basil & parsley, finely chopped
freshly grated nutmeg (7 swipes along a little grater)
s & p

sauté onion with garlic for about 5mins. add spices, stir for 2 minutes. & then the spinach for another 2mins. add the remaining ingredients, & simmer gently until the potatoes are tender. fold in the fresh herbs & nutmeg. season with s & p to taste, then finish the soup with 'butter' for extra richness.

* the spinach could always be added directly to the bowl, & the soup poured atop just before serving.


Cloud Biscuits

these biscuits are so quick, simple & delicious. this recipe is specific, but it is also adaptable. the baking soda & cream of tartar is added to reduce 1 tsp of baking powder. i find baking powder leaves a bitter quality. i like the nuttiness of whole wheat, but it can be eliminated. the flavourings can be changed to make more savory biscuits by adding caraway, or thyme, or some vegan 'cheese'. the vinegar creates 'buttermilk', & may be omitted or substituted with another vinegar. try any variation from your imagination.

sift together,
1 ¾ cup flour
¼ cup whole wheat flour
3 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt

cut ½ cup 'butter' into this with a pastry cutter, or 2 butter knives, then add, 2 apples, peeled & diced small.

combine in a measuring cup, then add to dry ingredients,
1 flax 'egg' (2 Tbsp ground flax + 3 Tbsp water, let sit for a few minutes)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
enough 'milk' to make 1 cup
1 tsp vanilla

drop large spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. bake @ 450º for 10-15mins. let sit on sheet for a minute or 2 before removing to a cooling rack. then, i know they smell awesome, but do try to wait a few minutes before eating to prevent burns.


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