Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Sweet Potato, Pumpkin and Chickpea Soup (Guest Post by The Little Cookbook)

My lovely guest post for today comes from the wonderful Rachel from The Little Cookbook. What a perfect choice for the end of July when it's so cold and rainy and windy. Sweet potato and pumpkin make such warming and satisfying soup for winter! I hope you enjoy this while I'm catching the train from Bergen to Oslo - one of the most spectacular scenic railroad trips in Europe. Thanks Rachel!

Hello! My name Is Rachel and I am super excited to be blogging over here at Gormandize. I blog at The Little Cookbook and whilst my desserts are often wickedly sweet, my weeknight eats are always (okay mostly) yum and frequently vegan – best of both worlds right?

So this soup actually came about through a complete and utter soul destroying craving for tomato soup a few weeks ago, but I had nothing to thicken up my oven-roasted veg. What’s a girl to do?

I’ll tell you what a girl is to do. She will quickly pan fry some canned chickpeas and chuck that in the pot. Done.

So when deciding on my ultimate vegan recipe to help out Keely whilst she’s off travelling, (I’m so jealous!) my mind came back to the amazing tomato soup. But alas it’s winter. Tomatoes are pretty bland at this time of year.

We need to sweet potato and pumpkin the shiz out of this idea.
The chickpeas not only add a beautiful creaminess to the soup but also thicken it up, and add pops of unblitzed chickpea too. Texture is vital to a good soup.

The key to a good pumpkin soup? Half oven roasted; half sweated in delicious butter (vegan butter), if you haven’t got a vegan butter that you absolutely love, use olive oil. Don’t use coconut butter. Or do. You know, whatever.

Sweet Potato, Pumpkin and Chickpea Soup

1 Small pumpkin, half diced/half quartered
2 Sweet Potatoes 1 peeled and diced, one quartered
1 Brown Onion quartered
4 sprigs of rosemary
Olive oil
3 tablespoons of vegan butter (or regular butter/olive oil – see note above)
1 can of chickpeas
1 ½ cup of vegetable stock
½ cup of almond milk
¼ teaspoon of chilli flakes
salt and pepper to season
pistachio dukkah to serve

1. Pre heat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius and set the quartered veggies on a roasting tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, place the sprigs of rosemary on the tray any which way.
Roast for 40/60 minutes, until soft, golden and browned around the edges.

2. In a large fry pan melt the vegan butter on a medium heat, once melted add the diced vegetables and turn to a low heat. Cover and leave for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. When the oven roasted veg is removed and cooled slightly, remove the skin and reserve the potato skins (for wonderful potato skin times).

4. In a large soup pot drizzle some olive oil – about a tablespoon, and set on a medium heat. Drain the can of chickpeas in the time and rinse once. Pour the chickpeas (sans any liquid) into the large soup pot and toss through until the shells pop.

5. Add both the oven roasted veg and the buttered veg to this large pot (sans skins, rosemary and butter) and stir. Pour in the vegetable stock and stir. Allow to simmer for 10/15 minutes, until it feels right. You just want the flavours to really combine.

6. Take off the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes, then blast with a stick mixer until creamy and smooth. Stir in the almond milk and chilli flakes. Blend further with the stick mixer; don’t go tooo creamy otherwise you miss those pops of chickpea!

Serve with dukkah and potato skins.

To make the potato skins just grill on a high heat both sides for a few minutes.