Roger that, Houston. I had success today. It depended, as success has want to do, upon many random variables coming together in a stream of white light and tamarind:
At what used to be his naptime until very recently (insert a deep sigh of mourning here) I took my son’s advice from yesterday morning and made the hot chocolate that I blogged about on my birthday.
Since my petite budgerigar did not nap, I couldn’t cook dinner until my husband came home from work because, well, he wasn’t asleep (my son, not my husband). I needed a direct source of melted chocolate, almond milk and, this time, whiskey in my system to keep me going until I could be a “go, flight.” Next time, more whiskey.
When hubby got home, I headed down into the basement pantry (now that you guys know I have stuff stored all over the place, I figure you'll need directions to which pantry I'm talking about) and then into the fridge for inspiration. I came upstairs with good stuff:
The cock and the nuts!
I wanted a complex, spicy, coconutty soup with roasted chickpeas, pablano and red peppers, and bean thread noodles. Not quite a curry, but curry influenced.
First, the Coconut Roasted Chickpeas with Peppers:
1 tablespoon coconut oil (you can use olive, or any other oil you’d like, but I needed to dent this jar of coconut oil in my pantry if you feel me)
2 cups cooked, organic chickpeas
1 tsp coarse Kosher salt (sea salt is also good, I just hate regular "table" salt)
½ sweet red pepper, chopped
½ fresh pablano pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
Heat the coconut oil in a large, stainless stockpot on medium heat until melted and hot (about 2 minutes). Add chickpeas, salt, and chopped peppers. Saute about 10 minutes or until chickpeas are blistered and golden and peppers are soft. Add garlic and sauté one minute more (time it if you need to, do not burn the garlic!) stirring constantly. Remove chickpea sauté from pot and put aside.
These are the chickpeas, with basil from my garden which is going in at the end (it's a little haggard at this point, but still going outside) and the garlic. In the background is the hot chocolate that needs more whiskey.
Now, make The Soup:
8 cups water
2 smashed garlic cloves (don't chop them, just smash them a bit to release their flavor. We are going to take them out later on so soup doesn't get too garlicky).
1 tablespoon of soy sauce (organic tamari is better if you have it)
2 Rapunzel bouillon cubes (vegan and fabulous, I used the ones with sea salt)
3 tsp red curry paste (fridge pantry)
2 tablespoons of agave syrup (light organic agave if you've got it)
1 tablespoon Sriracha or "rooster" sauce (or cock sauce!)
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate (weird, I know, it was in my pantry, though)
1 can light, organic coconut milk
Garnish: fresh basil (chopped), roasted cashews (chopped), chopped scallions (if you have them, they would be great here)
In that same large stockpot, bring 8 cups of water, garlic cloves and soy sauce to a simmer. Once simmering, add bouillon cubes, curry paste, agave syrup, sriracha, and tamarind and simmer some more until bouillon is dissolved. Taste for salt, sweetness and spiciness (this is spicy!). Add coconut milk, and continue to simmer gently for a few minutes. While soup is simmering, cut the bean thread noodles in half lengthwise so they aren't totally unmanageable to eat (otherwise they are WAY too long):
Action shot of my husband cutting the noodles for me. They are a bit of a pain to cut dry, but worth it. Oh, and there is the tamarind concentrate I found behind some other stuff in my pantry.
I was scared to use it before!
Put the chickpea saute back into the soup to heat it through. Add bean thread noodles. If you want this to mostly be a soup with noodles, add half of the package of bean thread noodles. If you want it to be more like noodles with sauce, add the whole package.
The noodles only take about 2 or 3 minutes to soften in the simmering soup.
Garnish with fresh, chopped basil and roasted cashews. Scallions also would be great here, but I didn't have any.
We all really enjoyed this soup. It had a little too much heat for my son, but he kept trying to eat it anyway! With the heat and the garlic, it is a great weapon to fight off that cold you caught online.
Note: fish out the garlic cloves before you put the soup away (if there is any left!) if you leave them in, I think it would get way too garlicky.