Sunday, February 3, 2008

Finding Comfort in the Arms of a Chickpea

It was a cold rainy day, with Mother Nature shaking her fist at the organizers of the Super Bowl and the FBR open. Add to that the fact that my issue of Veganomicon arrived in my mailbox this week (possibly becoming my new favorite cookbook just for the writing style of the authors alone), and it seemed like it was just time to make some soup. This Chickpea Noodle Soup doesn't have a very fancy name--nor even a very appealing one. However, it is a very appealing soup. The broth is a rich brown as a result of a quick deglazing of the pan after sauteeing onions and carrots. Mushrooms and spices are added in, followed by chickpeas and water. Once things have made it up to a rolling boil, three ounces of pasta are dropped in, then the whole thing is covered up until the pasta is al dente. Finally, a liberal dose of brown rice miso is added, creating a complex, almost wine-y broth. This is good stuff. It could probably kill a cold--maybe even the flu. It definitely is going to have a permanent place in my heart, not to mention my lunches. In the meantime, I think I'm going to try to think of a better name for this soup. Any ideas? This little number is so deserving that I'll send it to the Presto Pasta Night Round Up. Check in there on Fridays before planning the week's menus--every week is rife with great pasta ideas.

And what is soup without a salad? While at Trader Joe's last night, I found a nice container of imported sheep's milk feta. Coincidentally, Jack Bishop had a recipe that had caught my eye earlier--a Greek Salad with Marinated Radishes and Feta Cheese. This salad starts with tender lettuce which is tossed with halved cherry tomatoes, briny kalamata olives, and tangy feta. Defanged radishes are tossed in, along with their marinade, to dress the salad, and the whole thing is served over thick slices of grilled country bread. The Husband didn't care for it much, but he doesn't like olives. Or feta. Or red wine vinaigrette dressing. So, his opinion doesn't count in this case. I, however, enjoyed it very much. Definitely worth a try.
Hopefully, this week will be a little more sane, which will mean more cooking. I certainly have menus planned, so we'll see what happens.

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