Tuesday, March 28, 2006

spinach soup with rice & curried chickpea pancakes

One of my favorite cookbooks is "Fresh Food Fast" by Peter Berley.
It's divided into seasons, highlighting seasonal fruits and vegetables and there are multiple menus in each section.

I've made this soup many times and it is a great winter soup (even though it is part of the spring section).
The pancakes are super simple and really tasty.
Heather brought over some bruschetta to go with the meal, which fit in perfectly.
The pancakes are also great with greek yogurt. Mmmmm!!!

Spinach soup with basmati rice

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
10 oz bag baby spinach
1/3 cup basmati rice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspon ground cumin
1 teaspoon seasalt, plus more to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste (I added quite a bit more, actually)
freshly milled black pepper, to taste

1. In a large saucepan over medium heat warm the olive oil.
Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a blender, working in batches, puree the spinach with 1 cup of water until smooth.

3. Add the rice, garlic and cumin to the onions and cook, stirring or about 1 minute.

4. Add the spinach puree, 3 cups of water, and salt and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Stir in the dill and simmer, covered, until the rice is tender, about 3 - 4 minutes.
Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
Add additional water if the soup is too thick.

Curried chickpea pancakes

2 cups chickpea flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups of water
1 cup plain yogurt
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons canola oil
6 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 200

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, curry powder, salt and pepper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups of water, yogurt, eggs adn 2 tablespoons of the oil.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir to combine.
Add the scallions and chopped cilantro and mix well.

3. Place one or two small nonstick skillets over medium heat.
Coat with the remaining tablespoon of oil and heat for 30 seconds.
Ladle 2/3 cup of batter in the pan(s).
Fry for about 4 minutes until the surface of the pancake has begun to dry out and bubbles are formed.
Flip and fry for 3 minutes more.
Transfer the cooked pancakes to the heated baking pan and keep warm in the oven.
Repeat until the batter is used up.

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