Nutty Winter White Soup

Two years ago, I took a vacation to India and spent two weeks at the Sivananda Ashram in Kerala. As someone who habitually reads cookbooks as bedtime stories, I was pleased to purchase “The Yoga Cookbook” in the ashram gift shop, and read through the (sattvic, i.e. very healthy) recipes between our evening meditation sessions and 10 p.m. lights-out curfew.

The Yoga Cookbook

The Yoga Cookbook

I pulled the book back off the shelf the other day to finally try making the infamous “Sivananda Cookies” they often sell at the yoga center. In turn, I ended up flipping through the recipes again, and found an interesting one: Nutty Parsnip Soup, which calls for 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter as its “nutty” element.

This got me thinking. What about tahini? Could it be any good in a white-vegetable winter soup? I do, of course, having a thing for celeriac. And I love the woodsy, surprising flavor of parsnips.

Tahini and sesame seeds

Tahini and sesame seeds

So here, I give you, a warming winter soup rounded out with tahini. Happy Sunday.

Nutty Winter White Soup

Nutty Winter White Soup

 

Nutty Winter White Soup

Serves 6-8

Ingredients
thick pat of unsalted butter (about 8 grams)
1 large onion, roughly chopped
4 parsnips, peeled, roughly chopped
750 grams (1.6 lbs) celeriac, skin removed, cut into cubes
6 cups hot water OR homemade stock
1.5 bouillon cubes (chicken or vegetable) – omit if using stock
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
½ teaspoon white pepper
3 Tbsp. tahini (sesame seed paste)
black pepper (optional, for garnish)
1/3 cup chopped cashews or peanuts (optional, for garnish)

Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened, 4-6 minutes. Add the parsnips and celeriac and let them heat up a bit in the pot, stirring, 2 minutes.

Pour hot water or stock over vegetables, add bouillon if using. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Stir in salt and pepper. Allow to cook for 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally.

Once vegetables are fully cooked, take the pot off the heat and mix the soup with an immersion blender. Stir in the tahini, and serve topped with salt and pepper, and chopped cashews or peanuts.

Nutty Winter White Soup

Nutty Winter White Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cardamom Coconut Rice Pudding

A new tart recipe is in the works. I tried to make it again last weekend, but I experienced piecrust failure:

Pie Crust Failure

Pie Crust Failure

I’d like to get to the point where I don’t need to think about pie crust. Don’t need to look it up exactly, every time – don’t need to re-check measurements. Advice from Frances is a big help, but I’m not there yet.

But no matter. There was still a dinner to go to, still a dessert to make – so I did what I always do when crusts fail. I made something with rice. As I like to say, when in doubt, just make risotto.

Round rice

Round rice

This time, it wasn’t risotto – but going with the coconut theme I’d laid out, I made a coconut rice pudding. Heavy on the coconut, with a bit of cardamom, served with sunny winter fruits. No photos this time of the finished product, but trust me, it’s delicious.

Cardamom Coconut Rice Pudding

Adapted from this Bon Appétit recipe

Serves 6

Ingredients:

600 ml (20 ounces) coconut milk
600 ml (20 ounces) cow’s milk (whole or 1%)
2/3 cup fresh (or frozen, unsweetened) coconut
2/3 cup round rice
1/3 cup white sugar
6 cardamom pods
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Break open the cardamom pods just slightly, with a sharp knife, making sure the seed stays inside.

Using a large pot, bring all ingredients except vanilla extract to a simmer over medium heat.

Lower heat so the mixture is just barely simmering and let cook, stirring occasionally, about 45-60 minutes. You will need to stir and monitor more towards the end – you’ll know it’s done when the mixture resembles a clumpy oatmeal.

Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract, stirring through.

Let cool and then transfer to the refrigerator. Serve chilled, with seasonal fruits on top. This time, I used lime zest, kumquat slices, and pomegranate seeds.

Kumquats

Kumquats