CARROT SOUP WITH CRISPED CHICKPEAS & PUMPKIN SEEDS

Carrot soup with crisped chickpeas & pumpkin seedsCarrot soup with crisped chickpeas & pumpkin seeds Carrot soup with crisped chickpeas & pumpkin seedsCarrot soup with crisped chickpeas & pumpkin seeds

My husband, Jeremy, asked me very sweetly to organise a dinner for his birthday this past weekend gone but with the added caveat, ‘please don’t go to any great trouble, just keep things simple‘ he pleaded.  I nodded away reassuringly while wondering if letterpress invitations sent by post would be over the top (in case you’re interested, the answer was yes).

You see, as Jeremy knows, I find it very difficult to curb my enthusiasm for all things entertaining, constantly trying to out-do my last attempt in a bid to one-up only myself.

So…I had some very important questions to think about; How would I decorate the table?  What napkins should I use?  What would the menu be?  I was also planning a late-night trip to ikea to get these cute little shot glasses with the intention of using them for individual dark chocolate mousses with a pistachio crumb garnish. Totally simple & understated right?

In the end I managed to hold back a little & did a lot of prep ahead of dinner so I was able to relax & spend time with our guests.  I did, however, road test three soups before finally settling on a carrot number with crisped chickpeas & pumpkin seeds, which you can find the recipe for below (adapted from http://www.smittenkitchen.com).

Feeds four.

INGREDIENTS:
SOUP
// 900g Carrots; thinly sliced // 2 small white onions; diced // 4 garlic cloves; minced // 1/4 tsp ground coriander // 1/2 tsp ground cumin // 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil // 4 tsp bouillon powder // 1 litre boiling water // salt & pepper
TOPPING // 1 can chickpeas; drained & patted dry on a tea cloth // 4 tbsp pumpkin seeds // 1/2 tsp ground cumin // 1 garlic clove; minced // handful of parsley; chopped

METHOD:
To make the soup, heat up the olive oil in a large saucepan & gently saute the onions, garlic & spices over a medium heat until they have softened.  Add the carrots, stir & continue to cook for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, dissolve the bouillon powder in the boiling water.  Pour the stock into the pan & simmer for around 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are soft.  Puree the soup using a hand-held blender & season to taste.
For the topping, heat up a lug of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan & add the chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, cumin & garlic.  Cook for around 10 minutes, tossing the pan every now & then, until the chickpeas & seeds are blistered & crispy.  I served each bowl of soup with a generous handful of topping & a sprinkling of parsley.

S-O-T-H TIP: For extra oomph, tear up some wholemeal pita bread, douse the pieces in olive oil & pop them in to the oven on a high heat for 10 minutes – checking on them every so often to make sure they aren’t burning.  Remove from the oven once they are nicely toasted & sprinkle with za’atar.  Serve these rustic croutons alongside your soup.

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2 thoughts on “CARROT SOUP WITH CRISPED CHICKPEAS & PUMPKIN SEEDS

  1. I am SO impressed with your blog Tamara – it’s just amazing!!! I’m cooking for Friday night tonight and might try this number! xx

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