melonblossom (melonblossom) wrote in vegancooking,

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Two delicious autumn-y recipes (split pea and zucchini soup; warm pumpkin and chickpeas with tahini)

Well, the weather here in upstate NY has already been getting a little chilly, especially in the evenings. I'm always excited to start cooking fall/winter type foods again by now, so I've been cooking up a storm and thought I'd share two recipes I've particularly enjoyed:

This simple soup recipe is from "The Cook's Encyclopedia of Vegetarian Cooking" by Linda Fraser. The cookbook is not strictly vegan, but most of the non-vegan recipes are easily altered, and the pictures in it are so pretty that I read it like a book sometimes :oP

Serves 4

6 ounces (2 cups) yellow split peas
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sunflower oil (I used olive)
2 medium zucchini, finely diced
3 1/4 cups vegetable stock
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Crusty bread, to serve

1. Place the split peas in a bowl, cover with cold water, and let soak for several hours or overnight. Drain, rinse in cold water, and drain again.
2. Cook the onion in the oil in a covered pan, shaking occasionally, until soft. Reserve a handful of diced zucchini to use later.
3. Add the remaining zucchini to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the stock, peas, and turmeric and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Season.
4. When the soup is almost ready, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, add the reserved diced zucchini, and cook for 1 minute. Drain and add to the soup. Serve hot with warm crusty bread.

*Notes: I completely skipped step 4 and just threw the handful of zucchini in at the end and let it cook for a minute. I also added a shake of curry powder and a bay leaf in step 3, and served the soup with a dollop of plain "yogurt" and a tiny shake of cinnamon on top. It seemed to want cinnamon for some reason, maybe because I ate so many delicious spiced split pea daals in Nepal!

Warm Pumpkin and Chickpea Salad with Tahini, from Sam and Sam Clarke's recipes here.

"This warm salad has lots of textures and tastes bouncing off each other. Tahini is an oily paste made from pounded sesame seeds. It has a rich, nutty flavour and is used throughout the Middle East."

1kg/2¼lb pumpkin or squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ tsp ground allspice
2 tbsp olive oil
250g/9oz cooked chickpeas, or 1 x 400g/14oz tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ small red onion, finely chopped
4 tbsp roughly chopped fresh coriander
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the tahini sauce:
1 clove garlic, crushed to a paste with salt
3½ tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp tahini paste
2 tbsp water, to taste
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
2. Toss the pumpkin with the garlic, allspice, olive oil and some salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place on a tray in the oven for about 15-25 minutes or until soft. Remove and cool.
3. While the pumpkin is cooking, make the tahini sauce. Mix the crushed garlic with the lemon juice and add the tahini. Thin with water and olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. You should taste a balance between the nutty tahini and lemon.
4. To assemble the salad, place the pumpkin, chickpeas, red onion and coriander in a mixing bowl. Pour on the tahini sauce and toss carefully. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve.

*Notes: Amaaaazing. I liked it even better the next day at room temperature, after the garlic had had a chance to permeate the pumpkin. It was really tasty with some mini wheat pitas on the side, and I'm already fantasizing about how to incorporate this recipe into a crazy gourmet Thanksgiving spread!

Both recipes are super-photogenic and I wish I could post pictures, but my camera is currently on the fritz. :o( Your imaginations will have to suffice for now, or better yet, make everything yourself so you can taste as well as see the yumminess!
Tags: -healthy meals, beans-chickpeas/garbanzo-beans, beans-split peas, salads-bean salads, seasonal recipes-fall, seasonal recipes-winter, soups-pea, vegetables-squash-pumpkin, vegetables-zucchini/courgette
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