Castilian Garlic Soup

garlic-soup

Castilian Garlic Soup

I love this soup, because I am in love with both peasant food and offensive flavors.

There are couple ways you can go with this soup. Straight up traditional peasant recipes are just some garlic cloves cooked in olive oil, with water, tons of paprika, and stale bread. This lovely sounding recipe from New Mediterranean uses lots more garlic, and fancies it up a little with sherry and saffron, and floated garlic toasts. I like the technique of mashing the garlic cloves into the broth. Either way, this is most often made with eggs, either stirred in egg-drop soup style or poached on top.

I went with the more peasanty one (although I want to try the fancy version). It’s vegetarian, and forgoes delicate saffron in favor of an obscene amount of paprika for the uncultured tongue, which rises up in clouds and makes the soup a lovely dark red. Also, as it’s eggless, it needed a little something to be heavy enough for a light meal, so I added some chickpeas. We peasants do what we want.

Castilian Garlic Soup

3 tbsp olive oil
2 heads garlic, peeled, huge cloves chopped in half
1 tbsp paprika
splash of sherry
6 cups vegetable broth
1 can (or two cups cooked) chickpeas

To serve:
croutons: 1-2 pieces bread, cubed, tossed with a little olive oil, and sea salt, and toasted
nice spritz lemon juice – don’t skip!
chopped parsley

Heat olive oil and garlic on medium/medium lowish heat. Cook very gently, stirring, until they are soft, about 10-15 minutes, being very careful not to brown.

Add paprika and stir for a minute, then add sherry, broth, and chickpeas. Bring to a simmer for several minutes. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

Spoon into a bowl, spritz with lemon juice, and sprinkle parsley and a few croutons.

I cooked rice in leftovers, which turned out delicious. Peasant food or not, there’s something decadent about eating whole cloves of (cooked) garlic.

Edamame Hummus

edamame-hummus

This past month I joined a group called The Secret Recipe Club. Each month you secretly get somebody’s blog to try a recipe from…

…and someone secretly gets yours. I have been so anxious about who gets mine. What if they think taking pictures with a phone half the time is not charming but in fact lazy? What if they don’t think instructions like “a pinch,” “a handful,” and “an obscene amount” are valid measurements? What if they don’t like my cooking, or my recipe just doesn’t come out well? This is so much pressure!

(But enough about me, haha). MY experience this month was lovely. I was matched with Chris from The Café Sucré Farine – a collection of elegant and delicious-looking recipes. After scrolling through the mouthwatering list, I finally settled on the Edamame Hummus, something I’d been wanting to try. I made it for my sister’s baby shower, and I’m happy to say it did not disappoint!

It’s delightfully lemony, and the fresh green veggies and herbs make it perfect for spring. It was a hit at the party, getting snapped up with veggies and pita chips. Quote from my sister’s boyfriend’s mom: “I just love this hummus!”

Thank you so much Chris for your yummy recipe!

Edamame Hummus

From The Café Sucré Farine

1 pound frozen shelled edamame (soybeans)
1 pound frozen tiny peas
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ cup fresh lemon juice
lemon zest , from 1 lemon
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon crushed or ground corriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¾ cup tahini (can be found in many larger markets and in any Middle Eastern grocery)
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro plus more for garnish
sea salt and reshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cook edamame in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, 3–5 minutes. Add peas and drain well. Transfer to a large bowl of ice water then drain well again.

Pulse edamame and peas in a food processor until a coarse purée forms, about 30 seconds. Add lemon juice and zest, garlic, cumin, coriander. tahini and olive oil. Add the cilantro and process for 2-3 minutes or until very smooth adding a bit more lemon juice if too thick. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with fresh cilantro before serving

TO DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill. Transfer to a serving bowl; drizzle with oil and garnish with more herbs.



Almost Banh Mi

almost-banh-mi

I guess you could call this a banh mi – especially since I got adventurous and made homemade Vietnamese baguettes and carrot quickie pickle! Instead of mayo though I used fruity mango and ginger chutney, and topped the whole thing with a handful of crunchy chopped peanuts.


Yes I forgot to rotate my baguettes – how can you tell?

For the baguettes, I used this recipe from My Food Affair, and I thought they came out pretty good (though I probably could have rolled them a little thinner). I am a collector of various flours and beans so it was nice to actually use one of them – rice flour! – vs just hoarding.

For the pickled carrots, I used the much laughed about carrot massage technique (see banh mi episode of Spilled Milk). I didn’t pickle the cucumber, I kept it fresh.

Almost Banh Mi

Vietnamese baguettes, homemade or storebought, sliced in half and then lengthwise

For pickled carrots
4 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp sea salt
4 carrots, sliced in half and then in thin strips
1 shallot, thinly sliced

Combine rice vinegar, sugar and salt. Toss carrots and shallots in the mixture, and massage for several minutes. Cover and let marinate at room temperature a couple of hours.

For the spread
2 tbsp mango ginger chutney (or similar)
2 tbsp olive oil

Mix well.

For the sandwich
Sliced cucumbers
Chopped peanuts
Baby spinach

Spread bread, assemble with goodies, and enjoy.

Of course I couldn’t have made such a tasty sandwich without the help of my adorable kitchen imp – she is very good at measuring, stirring, and keeping up kitchen morale.

I chose this as my best recipe in April :)