food amongst family and friends

Edamame Hummus – Extra Green for St Patrick’s Day March 12, 2012

I’ve been meaning to try my hand at this recipe ever since Katie brought a big bowl over for Christmas (she found the recipe here), so when I had some last minute company for the weekend I sent Katie an emergency recipe request and made myself a big batch of this. And I do mean big; this makes a lot, however, I discovered that it freezes quite well, and it was nice to have in the freezer for the next round of entertaining. The mint and cilantro compliment each other beautifully here, so even if you are cilantro shy (I am), make sure to give it a chance in this. I can almost guarantee that this recipe will surprise you with it’s deceptively simple deliciousness, so give it a whirl while green is en vogue!

18 oz frozen shelled edamame (this was one bag for me)

18 oz frozen baby sweet peas

1/2 cup lemon juice

2 Tbsp minced fresh garlic (about 4 big cloves)

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add in the edamame. Cook for about 3 or 4 minutes, or until tender. Remove to a bowl of cold (or ice) water with a slotted spoon. Bring pot back to boil and add peas for 1 minute, or until warmed through. Drain and add to cold water with edamame, then drain it all well.

2. Roughly puree edamame and peas (in batches) in the food processor, transferring to a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients, stirring until well combined. Let sit for a few hours before serving. (we had ours with belgian endive leaves, carrots, pita, celery, peppers, wild rice and green onion bread, and baguette over the course of a few different events, all with good results)





Italian Sausage and Chickpea Soup March 6, 2012

AKA March snowstorm and head cold soup. This is one of my all time favourite soup recipes, and I am stunned that it has not been posted yet. The inspiration is from Jamie Oliver , but I have attempted to health it up a little. It doesn’t look like much, but the spicy sausage (and it’s worth getting some good stuff here) brings excellent flavour and heat, good tomatoes provide some sweetness and depth and the fresh spinach really grounds the flavours. Not to mention that the tomatoes, spinach and chickpeas are all excellent immune system boosters, so this really is good for a head cold, plus I find the spiciness clears me up in no time. Also, this is a nice fast soup to make, about an hour start to finish and it freezes beautifully. Just try it already.

2 raw spicy Italian sausages, casings, removed

1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

4 sticks celery, with leaves, finely chopped

500g fresh spinach, washed and chopped (I used 2 bags of washed baby spinach and only chop it if my girls are in a picky mood)

8 large tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped (fresh tomatoes really are better here, but only if they are in season and flavourful, otherwise, good quality tinned tomatoes are fine)

1 19 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1.3 litres chicken stock

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil as needed

1. In a large soup pot, heat a tsp or so of olive oil over medium heat. Add sausage, cooking through, making sure to break it up as you go. Add in onion, garlic and celery, lower the heat to low and cover with lid. Leave it for 10-15 minutes to let the vegetables sweat.

2. Remove the lid, increase the heat, and let everything brown a little. Add in remaining ingredients and let simmer for 40-50 minutes.

3. Either use an immersion blender to puree about half the soup, or for those of you gadget challenged like me, just use your blender to puree in batches until it’s thickened to your liking. Bring back to temperature and serve.