Friday, November 28, 2014

Carrot Soup with Swiss Chard & Dukkah


I'm a big fan of Deborah Madison. I met her years ago at Morningside Farmers Market in Atlanta. She was there on a bright Saturday morning to do a cooking demo. I fell in love with her beautiful treasure of a cookbook Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and promptly bought one for my mom and one for myself. At the time I was primarily vegetarian, eating occasional seafood, and stayed that way for about 9 years.
I do eat meat these days, but I often feel that vegetarian cuisine is still much more interesting to me and that my body craves it more than meat.
Recently, I happened upon a copy of one of her newest cookbooks Vegetable Literacy and snatched it up. I could spend an entire Sunday afternoon on the couch, just thumbing through it and dreaming of tasting her Sauteed Jerusalem Artichokes with Rosemary and Smoked Salt, Eggplant Tartines, or Sweet Potatoes with White Miso Ginger Sauce. Good God, yum.



Deborah amazes me with the depth and breadth of her knowledge on vegetables, gardening, and cooking. Her recipes aren't complicated, explained extremely well,  and there are always some interesting ingredients for me to explore. This soup recipe is the second one I decided to make from the book - mainly cause I had a bunch of carrots in the fridge that needed some loving. And, I was very curious about this Egyptian topping, known as "dukkah".





I made a few slight variations to Deborah's recipe....adding orange zest to the soup, using sauteed swiss chard instead of collards, using lemon instead of lime juice and coconut oil instead of coconut butter, and changing up the seasonings a bit in the dukkah. I don't know if my pics do it justice {that darn challenge of trying to shoot food pics while the sun is going down} - but the soup is such a gorgeous, bright orange. And it just feels so good to eat.
Soul satisfying. Thank you Deborah for your passion and inspiring me.

Carrot Soup with Swiss Chard and Dukkah 
 {adapted a bit from Vegetable Literacy}

For the soup:
2 Tablespoons ghee
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 1/4 pounds carrots, scrubbed and thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoons peeled and slivered fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Sea salt



For the greens:
3 leaves of swiss chard, rinsed
Sea salt
Coconut oil
Squeeze of lemon juice

Dukkah {see recipe that follows}



Warm the ghee in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, orange zest, ginger, cumin, and 1 teaspoon salt, give it a stir and cook until wilted, about 6 minutes. Add 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 25 minutes.
While the soup is cooking, prepare the swiss chard. Trim the stems, stack the leaves, roll them up, and then slice thinly crosswise. You’ll have a pile of long, thin, slices of collards. Heat a skillet on medium, add some coconut oil and a sprinkle of sea salt, and saute the swiss chard briefly till just wilted. Toss in a squeeze of lemon juice to taste. Set greens aside.
When the soup is ready, puree until smooth {I use my Vitamix}. Taste for salt, adding more if necessary. You can thin the soup with water at this point.
Ladle the soup into bowls and set a tangle of swiss chard atop each serving and top with a bit of dukkah {to your taste}.

Dukkah
Makes about 2 cups

1 cup almonds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup coriander seeds
1/4 cup cumin seeds 
3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
A few pinches of dried thyme
A few pinches of dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread the nuts on a parchment-lined or silpat-lined sheet pan and toast in the oven until fragrant, about 8 minutes. Transfer hot nuts to a plate to cool. Next toast the seeds the same way for about 5 minutes and then transfer these to a plate to cool.
Once fully cooled, put nuts and seeds into a food processor. Add the thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes and salt and pulse until roughly ground, being careful to not let them become a paste. When you are happy with the texture, season with some pepper. Can be kept in a tightly sealed container for 1-2 weeks.
*Per Deborah, Dukkah can be used to spice up the flavor of scrambled eggs, grilled and roasted vegetables, bean purees, salads, soups, etc.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks. Swiss chard and carrots just arrived in my FarmFreshToYou.com carton. I wasn't sure how to combine them. Thanks again. :)

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    1. Hope you enjoy Betsy! I love a good carrot soup.

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