Saturday, February 19, 2011

spicy chickpea soup

Brad surprised me with a night out to celebrate Valentine's Day. I had no idea what we were doing and the only clues he gave me were to wear comfortable shoes and that we would get to enjoy the bottle of Old Ghost we had been saving from our trip to Lodi, CA last Valentine's Day. The night definitely did not disappoint and we had an absolute blast at a supper club cooking class at Gatherings Kitchen, a local catering company. Every Friday night they host a supper club cooking class for 16 people. The menu changes monthly and the 2 chefs, Doug & Ruth are so incredibly personable it makes me want to hang out there every weekend. We all got to help prepare a 6 course meal while chatting and cooking and enjoying some wine, oh and learning some cooking techniques! The menu consisted of the following:

Herb Blini with Smoked Salmon & Creme Fraiche
Bacon Wrapped Scallops with Teriyaki Glaze
Spicy Chickpea Soup
Crispy Pita Chips
Hearts & Flower Salad with a Sherry Vinaigrette
Filet Mignon Oscar with Bearnaise Sauce
Beet Gnocchi
Almond Cakes with Chocolate Passion-fruite Sauce

         cleaning & trimming the tenderloin         making the beet gnocchi              making the bernaisse sauce

Everything was absolutely scrumptious, but the spicy chickpea soup stood out above the rest! Brad and I couldn't stop talking about the soup all weekend, so by Monday we decided it had been long enough and we needed to enjoy this soup again. It is so quick & easy to throw together and so incredibly tasty. Do yourself a favor and double, or better yet, triple the recipe so you can enjoy it for a few days. SO GOOD!

their beautiful dining room

spicy chickpea soup

(2) 19-ounce cans chickpeas, drained
(1) 13.5 ounce can light coconut milk
1/2 C crush or chopped tomatoes
1/4 C apple juice
1/4 cilantro leaves
1/2 tsp garam masala (recipe below)
1/2 tsp ground ginger (we used fresh)
1 C chicken stock
salt & freshly ground pepper
1/4 C plain yogurt
2 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced

In a blender, combine the drained chickpeas with the coconut milk, chopped tomatoes, apple juice, cilantro leaves, garam masala and ground ginger and puree the mixture until smooth.

Transfer the puree to a medium saucepan. Stir in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer over moderately high heat. Season to taste with salt & black pepper.

Ladle the soup into bowls, top with yogurt and scallion greens and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Gathering's Kitchen

Garam Masala

1 tablespoon dried miniature rosebuds (or black cardamom pods - optional)
A 1-inch piece cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup cumin seeds
1/3 cup coriander seeds
1 tablespoon green cardamom pods
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 dried red chile
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground mace

If the roses have stems, break them off and discard. Heat the roses with the cinnamon, bay leaves, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom pods, whole peppercorns, cloves, and chile in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the cumin becomes brown, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder or coffee mill, add the nutmeg and mace, and grind until powder fine. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 months.

recipe courtesy of

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