Saturday, 16 June 2012

Recipe: Pumpkin Chickpea and Fivespice soup with Lemon Cashew Pinenut Sour 'Creem'

My partner got this recipe from a friend who got it from a friend who....? It calls for something called ‘Chinese 5 spice’ which I had never heard of before and was thinking I had to go to some asian grocer to find. Not so. It is available in supermarkets right there next to all the other spice jars.
This soup is sweet and spicey and the sour ‘creem’ is very tangy. Together, they are very complimentary.  I was advised that Chinese 5 spice is quite strong, so I opted for half of what the original recipe suggests and that turned out to be good advice. But if you are use to and like spiciness, go for the whole teaspoon or more if you like.

What you will need:
For the soup:
1 onion (optional)
2 garlic cloves (optional)
4 cups vegetable stock
600g pumpkin
400g can of chickpeas
2 carrots
1 tbsp tomato paste
Half to 2 tsp Chinese 5 spice
1 tsp dried thyme

For the sour ‘creem’
Three quarters of a cup raw cashews (soaked in water overnight)
Quarter cup raw pinenuts (soaked in water overnight)
Half cup lemon juice

Method – soup:
Bake pumpkin and carrots with thyme and olive oil in a moderate oven for 20 minutes until soft.
If using, sauté chopped onion and garlic with a little olive oil until soft.
Once cool, place all ingredients into a blender and puree with additional stock if needed. (Set aside quarter of chickpeas and add later if you like a chunkier soup.)
Reheat soup before serving.

Method – sour ‘creem’
Discard water nuts have been soaking in. Rinse nuts and place in blender with lemon juice. Blend until smooth.
Swirl or just add sour ‘creem’ to top of soup when serving.

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