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garlic scapes hummus

garlic scapes hummusGarlic scapes are the flower bud of the garlic plant and are cut to force the garlic bulbs to grow bigger. Some gardeners throw these away! The flavour is less pungent than a garlic clove and has a subtle scallion flavour. How to use? Think of how you would cook a green vegetable (stir-fry, sauté, steam, grill) and go from there.  Hummus is a favourite go-to dip when I want something in a pinch. Continue Reading →

pasta salad with roasted chickpeas

pasta saladI’ve had this package of multicolor farfalle (Italian for butterfly) pasta for weeks now and every time I open the pantry door, there it is, waiting for me to do something with it.  The colors of the butterfly pasta are all natural using beetroot, spinach, turmeric, paprika and black squid ink.  I wanted something special to salute this gorgeous pasta with and wasn’t quite sure what.  The can of chickpeas in my pantry sparked an idea.  I have, for longest time, wanted to try roasting chickpeas and somehow the two would come together.  Continue Reading →

Chickpea Soup with Sweet Potato and Feta Crostini

Don’t you love a good soup?  I sure do and more so when there’s less time making it.  This is Yvette Van Boven’s second book – a follow up to her popular cookbook, Homemade.  Homemade Winter is full of hearty, body-warming dishes sure to satisfy the biggest of big appetites.  I adore her illustrations and hand written notes along with mouth-watering photography…it makes me want to eat the page!  Ok, enough gushing about the book my son gave me for Christmas.  This recipe is so simple, easy to prepare and nutritionally hits all the buttons!   Sweet potatoes don’t take long to prepare and are an excellent source of vitamin A, good source of vitamin C and manganese (keeps bones strong and healthy).

Serves 4
adapted from Home Made Winter

2 leeks, white and light green parts, washed and cut in to rings
1 teaspoon butter
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
3 sprigs fresh thyme
4 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1/2 baguette
1/3 cup crème fraîche  (or use sour cream in a pinch)
3 1/2 oz. (100g) feta cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large pot over medium heat, cook leeks in the butter until soft.  Add sweet potatoes and thyme and stir well.  Stir in the broth and bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.  Add chickpeas and heat for another 5 minutes.  Use the back of a spoon to smash the sweet potatoes against the sides of the pot to thicken the soup.

Preheat broiler.  Cut baguette into slices and spread them with a bit of crème fraîche.  Arrange the slices on a baking sheet, crumble with feta on top, and place under the broiler until golden brown.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  Soup’s on, let’s eat!  Enjoy!