Spicy Asian Vegetable Soup

The stock in this soup is an explosion of flavors, from roasted garlic and onions, to clove, cinnamon, chilies and the umami that miso brings. If you have time, make the stock the day before so the flavors can infuse overnight. The lime juice balances the heat nicely. For the toppings, you can add any vegetables that you like. I just choose these to have different textures in one bite. The fried wontons strips and sliced sugar snaps give it a nice crunch. For the noodles, I used rice flakes. It was the first time I saw them at my Asian store so I gave them a try and I liked them, but you can use whichever noodle you prefer.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the spicy vegetable stock:

1 head of garlic

2 red onions

Vegetable oil

2 cloves

1 star anise

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tablespoon of chopped ginger

1 tablespoon of red miso paste

1 teaspoon of Sichuan pepper powder

3 tablespoons of chili bean sauce

1 bay leaf

½ a teaspoon of ginger powder

1 tablespoon of brown sugar

½ teaspoon of celery salt

3 litters of boiling water

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of onion powder

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup or honey

Toppings:

Juice of 2 limes

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

100grs of sliced sugar snap peas

100grs of fried wonton strips

100grs of rice noodles or the noodles of your choice (I used rice flakes)

1 cup of frozen shelled edamame

2 baby paksoi, leaves separated

1 spring onion, thinly sliced

A handful of Enoki mushrooms

Sesame seeds for serving

2 soft boiled eggs (7 minutes)

 

You can make the stock in advance. I made it the night before to let all the flavors infuse. Wrap the garlic bulb in foil with about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Do the same for the 2 red onions. Roast them for 1 hour at 180C/350F. Once they are roasted. Squeeze the roasted garlic from the shell. Peel the roasted onions and chop them.

Pour 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the roasted garlic, roasted onions, cloves, star anise, cinnamon, ginger, miso paste, Sichuan pepper powder, chili bean sauce, bay leaf, ginger powder, brown sugar, celery salt, garlic powder, onion powder and ginger syrup. Cook while stirring for about 3 minutes. Then add the boiling water. Give it a good stir so that there is nothing sticking at the bottom.

Lower the heat to the lowest and let it simmer for 1 and a half hour.

It you have time; once the stock is done, covered it and let it infuse overnight. If not, just pass it through a fine mesh sieve. Set it aside.

To fry the wontons, I just thinly sliced them into strips using a pair of scissors. Then pan-fry them in vegetable oil until golden.

For the rice noodles, I cooked them according to package instructions in a different pot.

Once you are ready to serve, reheat the stock over medium heat. Add the lime juice and sesame oil.

Add the sliced sugar snaps, paksoi and frozen edamame. Stir for about 1-2 minutes and then divide it over 3 bowls. Add the rice noodles and top with some spring onions, sesame seeds, soft boiled eggs, Enoki mushrooms and fried wontons. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and my Snapchat: cravingsinams.

Butternut Squash, Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup with Sumac & Za’atar Roasted Cashew Crumbs and Shaved Asparagus (Vegan)

IMG_7764

A very easy and comforting soup with added crunch from the raw asparagus and cashew crumbs. Perfect for this cold weather.

On another note, I recently made a tutorial for the blue background that you see in these pictures. You can check it out by clicking here.

 

IMG_7765

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the soup:

1 medium butternut squash, just chopped into pieces

4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into pieces

2 medium sweet potatoes

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 white onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 litter of vegetable stock

½ teaspoon of celery salt

Pinch of paprika powder

Salt to taste

For the cashew crumbs:

1 cup of salted cashews, finely chopped into crumbs

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Pinch of paprika powder

1 tablespoon of sumac

1 teaspoon of Za’atar

Pinch of salt (optional)

For the asparagus:

8 asparagus

Salt

Pepper

 

Chop the butternut squash (leave the skin and seeds on, they will come off easier after being roasted) and carrot into chunks. Place the butternut squash, carrots and whole sweet potatoes in an oven tray lined with parchment paper. Drizzle some olive oil over the squash and carrot. Sprinkle with some salt and then roast them in the oven at 180C/350F until tender. This will take about ½ hour for the squash and carrots, and 1 hour for the sweet potato. So just check from time to time.

Once the vegetables are roasted, scoop out the seeds from the butternut squash and discard them. Then scoop out the flesh and set it aside. Peel the sweet potato.

In a medium saucepan, add the olive oil over medium heat. Then add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Then add the butternut squah, carrots and sweet potatoes. Add the stock, celery salt and paprika powder. Let it simmer for 5 minutes and then blend it until smooth using an immersion blender. Taste it, and then add salt to taste.

To make the cashew crumbs, mix the chopped cashews with the spices and olive oil. Roast them for 15 minutes at 180C/350F. Stir the crumbs half way through.  Set it aside to cool.

When you are ready to serve, reheat the soup and start preparing the asparagus. Grab a potato peeler and start to shave the asparagus. Don’t worry if some break. Then season them with salt and pepper.

Serve the soup with the seasoned shaved asparagus and some of the cashew crumbs. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

Eggplant Bolognese (Vegetarian)

IMG_6678

A vegetarian version of this traditional meaty dish. It still packs a lot of flavor because the garlic and eggplants are roasted in the oven. And besides the red wine, I also added a bit of port. If you want to save time, you can also roast the garlic and eggplant the day before.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the sauce:

1 head of garlic

2 eggplants (medium sized) cut into small cubes

1 red onion, chopped

3 tablespoons of olive oil

500gr of tomato pure

1 shot of port

1 cup of vegetable or chicken stock

1 cup of red wine

3 tablespoons of dried oregano

2 tablespoons of dried basil

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons of sugar

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Extras:

350grs of dried pasta, I used Armoniche pasta

Grated Grana Padano for serving

Fresh basil for decoration

 

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil.

Trim the top off the head of the garlic to expose the top of the garlic cloves. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top and wrap it in foil.

Place the chopped eggplants in the prepared tray with the garlic. Drizzle some olive oil over the eggplant and add some salt. Roast for 1 hour. Stir the eggplant half way.

Once the garlic is roasted, press it to push out the garlic cloves. Chop them.

Place 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Then add the roasted garlic, eggplants, port and red wine.  Let it cook for about 3 minutes while stirring. Then add the tomato puree, stock, oregano, basil, bay leaves, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir to mix it and let it cook for about 20 minutes until it becomes a sauce. Taste for salt and pepper, and remove the bay leaves.

Cook the pasta as instructed on the package. Then place the drained pasta in the pan with the sauce and mix it until well combined.

Serve with some grated Grana Padano and fresh basil leaves.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

Purple Carrot & Golden Beet Tart with Tahini & Sumac

IMG_5406

I made this tart today for dinner and it hardly lasted till dinner. Since I cook everything early to be able to photograph it during daylight, it was hard to stop eating it. I love the sweetness of the carrots and beets combined with the citrusy sumac and creamy tahini. It’s a very easy tart to make for this holiday season.

FullSizeRender

This recipe is enough for a 40x24cm tart.

Ingredients:

1 sheet of puff pastry (40x24cms)

4 medium purple carrots, thinly sliced lengthwise with a mandolin

1 very large golden beet, thinly sliced with a mandoline

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

For the tahini-sumac sauce:

¼ cup of tahini

1 tablespoon of sumac

Juice of ½ a lemon

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon of honey

2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of onion powder

Chili flakes to taste

Pinch of salt

Pinch of pepper

For the toppings:

80grs of feta, crumbled

¼ cup of chopped chives, dressed in a bit of olive oil, white vinegar, salt and pepper

¼ cup of toasted pine nuts

2 tablespoons of pomegranate seeds

Extra:

Egg wash

 

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Cook the thinly sliced carrots and beets in a large pan with some olive oil, salt and pepper. I cooked them separately for about 5 minutes until tender but still firm, stirring often.

To make the tahini-sumac sauce, just mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.

Place the puff pastry on an oven sheet lined with parchment paper. Fold the edges, making a 1cm border and pinch to seal them. Using a fork, pinch the dough all over, except for the borders.

Spread the tahini-sumac sauce evenly over the pastry. Arrange the cooked carrot and beet slices all over the pastry. Make sure to spread them evenly, so there is a good ratio of carrot/beet on each slice later on.

Brush the edges of the puff pastry with the egg wash. Bake it for 35 minutes, till golden.

To serve, spread the crumble feta all over. Do the same for the toasted pine nuts, pomegranate and the dressed chives. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

Zucchini Ricotta Fritters with Avocado-Greek Yogurt Sauce and a quick Beet & Carrot Slaw

IMG_5473

Not the best day to go outside today. There is a summer storm going on and it got worse while we were doing groceries at the market. A tree fell over a road close to our street; luckily we didn’t see anyone hurt. My hubby and I actually ran home on the last 2 blocks because big branches were falling on cars next to us. This is the first time I was actually scared of a storm here.

Veggie fritters are something that we eat quite often at home. They make a super simple and quick dinner. The creamy avocado-Greek yogurt sauce goes very well with the fritters and the slaw adds a nice crunch to the dish. I love eating raw beets and their sweetness mixes very well with the apple cider vinegar from the dressing.

This recipe makes about 10 fritters.

Ingredients:

For the Fritters:

3 Zucchinis, shredded without the core (seeds)

250gr Ricotta

1 egg

Pinch of cayenne

½ teaspoon of onion powder

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of lemon pepper (optional)

Pinch of pepper

1 teaspoon of salt

1/3 of a cup of panko breadcrumbs

¼ of a cup of breadcrumbs

Olive oil for frying

For the quick slaw:

2 beets (I used the candy cane variety), shredded

1 carrot (I used a purple one), Shredded

¼ of a cup of olive oil

¼ of a cup of apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons of honey

1 teaspoon of mustard

Salt

Pepper

For the avocado-Greek yogurt sauce:

2 avocado

4 tablespoons of Greek yogurt

Juice of 1 lime

2 tablespoons of chopped parsley

¼ of a teaspoon of celery salt

Extra salt to taste

Decoration:

Chives

 

To make the quick slaw, first shred the beets and carrot. In a bowl, whisk the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, mustard, salt and pepper. Add the beets and carrot. Mix well. Let it sit in the fridge until ready to serve.

To make the avocado sauce, just place all of the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until you get a creamy sauce. Transfer it to a bowl, cover with plastic film and let it sit in the fridge until ready to serve.

To make the fritters, shred the zucchini. I don’t shred the core part with the seeds. Then squeeze out as much water as you can from them. Transfer the squeezed zucchini to a large bowl, add the reminaing ingredients for the fritters and mix well.

Add some olive oil to a large non-stick pan over medium heat.  To form each fritter, just scoop about 1/3 of a cup of the zucchini mixture and place it on the hot pan. Flatten it a bit with a spatula and fry it until golden on both sides. This will only take a few minutes per side.

To serve, spread some of the avocado sauce on each plate and serve the fritters stacked on top of the sauce. Finish it by adding some of the slaw and a bit of chives.