Monday, 29 October 2007

How to make a Meat-Man eat Chickpeas

Chickpea and Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Quikong is a proud meat lover. How do I know this? Well firstly, he has a name for his grill/BBQ ("the Black Stallion"). Secondly, when we were looking for a new apartment, the top priorities for him were - it has to be by the water and the porch has to be spacious enough for his Stallion. In his defence, he does enjoy vegetarian foods and now that I think about it, half of the meals we cook at home is vegetarian. However he always gives me a tortured look on his face when I say that I am making chickpea-something. So how did I manage to convince him that chickpeas taste good? With this soup which blew him away. I served the soup with a beautiful rye bread I bought from a sourdough bakery.

Verdict: Quikong finished a big bowl of it and commented a few times how much he enjoyed it. He even said, “you should make this again.” The only problem now is that I have to share my soup with him....hmmmm...

October 1st was World Vegetarian Day. Do visit the World Vegetarian Day website to find out more about it. I am submitting this recipe to Margot over at Coffee and Vanilla who is hosting Vegetarian Awareness Month for all of October.

For this recipe, I used Japanese pumpkin (also referred to as a squash in North America. Learn more about pumpkin/squash here). I always tend to buy this particular variety because it is less watery than other types, with drier, sweeter flesh and has an excellent nutty flavour. The natural sweetness intensifies when roasted. Despite it being spring in Sydney, pumpkin/squash is plentiful because we can get them all year round. Kevin of Closet Cooking made delicious pumpkin risotto using Japanese pumpkin last weekend, so do head over to have a look. He also explained how you can make pumpkin puree as well as toast pumpkin seeds (skin on).

Japanese Pumpkin

I also rediscovered pepitas or hulled pumpkin seeds when I had dinner at Eva's place. She recommends toasting it lightly (I toast it in a frying pan) before serving it. Toasted pepitas add another layer of flavour as well as texture to the soup.

Pepitas - Raw Hulled Pumpkin Seeds

Chickpea and Roasted Pumpkin Soup
Adapted from Donna Hay’s "Off the shelf – Cooking from the pantry"

2kg (4lb) pumpkin
6 cups (2.5 pints) vegetable stock
1 tbsp oil
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
1 small fresh chilli, chopped
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp honey
1 x 400g (14 oz) can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
Fresh coriander, roughly chopped (or shredded basil)

To serve:
Pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
Chopped chilli (seeds removed) & coriander

- Cut pumpkin into large wedges (leaving skin on). Place it in a baking tray and roast pumpkin at 200° C (400° F) for about 40 minutes or until soft and golden.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan and sauté onions, garlic, cumin and chilli over medium heat till onions turn soft.
- In two batches, scrape the pumpkin flesh into a food processor with 1.5 cups of stock and cooked onion/garlic mixture and blend till smooth.
- Place the pureed pumpkin mixture into the saucepan. Add the mustard, honey, remaining stock and simmer for 5 minutes. Add chickpeas and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Just before serving, stir through coriander (or shredded basil) and garnish with toasted pumpkin and chilli, if desired. Serve with grilled bread. Serves 4.


Anh said...

Nora, I love Japanese pumpkin, too. They have such great contrast in color (green then yellow). Just perfect!

Coffee & Vanilla said...


I'm very happy to hear from you and thank you for the entry! :)

I will be making pumpkin soup this Halloween, and some more cookies.

Ciao, Margot

veron said...

I've never used japanese pumpkin before..but I do love any type of squash soup! Love the vibrant color in's perfect for autumn weather here.
P.S. I am the meat lover in the family ;)

Valli said...

I am so glad you posted this soup recipe Nora. I have a pie pumpkin that might substitute well for the recpe. I will let you know!

Lydia said...

I'm not a huge fan of chick peas -- I wonder if you could puree those right along with the pumpkin?

winedeb said...

Perfect post as I have a meat-man who hates chickpeas also! Just last week after quite a struggle, I finally got him to eat humus. So I will be pushing my luck with your soup but I am going to give it a go. I think the addition of hot peppers just might do the trick! Lovely photo of your soup Nora!

Shaun said...

Nora B. - This is a great recipe. I, too, love to incorporate chickpeas into my diet but don't have many chickpea recpies in my repertoire, often falling back on the same ones. I will definitely give this a go, for I also love squash. I love that you used the pumpkin seeds, too. Hulled pumpkin seeds are called pepitas in the US, and when they are candied, they are a crunchy and sweet topping for desserts.

Nora B. said...

Anh - They are very pretty aren't they?

Margot - Glad that I was able to participate. I might make pumpkin fudge for Halloween even though I don't celebrate it. Any excuse to make fudge :-)

Veron - Do try this pumpkin. I actually made the soup a few weeks ago when it was cooler weather here.

Valli - As I was telling Veron, I am planning to make pumpkin fudge for Halloween. Now I'm thinking that pie would also be a good idea. Some people in Australia find it strange that pumpkin is used in desserts. When I said I was making pumpkin fudge, a friend made a "yucks" face. I betcha if she tried some, she would ask for more. ;-)

Lydia - Yes, you can process the chickpeas with the pumpkin, but you might need to increase the liquid content because it will become quite thick. And the flavour of the soup would be altered a little because it will be more amalgamated.

Deb - Even I couldn't make my man eat hummus, even though it was home-made. But he does eat it at restaurants - I don't get it.
I added the chili because Quikong has told me that he wanted to increase his tolerance for chili (since he knows how much I love it). He said that the addition of the chili gave it a little subtle "heat" to the soup which he enjoyed.

katiez said...

I'm just starting using my pumpkin - and love this idea! Chickpeas would add a wonderful flavor - I'll let you know..
I've been avoiding the pumpkin chore - it's a big one (the pumpkin) but maybe this week.

Nora B. said...

Shaun - I haven't used pepitas in desserts for a while now, so thanks for the reminder. I will rectify this very soon. I hope that you will like the soup.

Katie - I've seen how big pumpkins get. I don't think I've ever eaten the big ones before. I wonder how similar they taste to the Jap ones.

Belinda said...

Sometimes these men grumble and complain, but then when you secretly incorporate some of the things they claim not to like into a dish, they just gobble it all up! This soup is such a pretty color, Nora, I love it, and I know I'd love the flavor...I like ALL of the ingredients. :-)

Susan said...

Give me chickpeas in anything. This soup is just perfect for the chill (FINALLY!) in our air up here in NY.

Good to see you in circulation again, Nora. I'd read your "Angry Baker" post a while back. I tend to give people a wide berth and let them cool off and come to on their own. Welcome back!

Eva said...

My man happens to love both pumpkin and chickpeas a lot! So far I had only one recipe in my repertoire that combined both. Thanks to you, now I have another one!

Ashley said...

Looks fantastic. Perfect for fall. I have a spaghetti squash in the oven now!
Check out my Travel Blog!

Truffle said...

That's very impressive. My partner is not a big fan of vegetarian dishes so I'll have to try this out on him!

maninas: food matters said...

hhahahaaaa I laughed out loud when I saw your title! - I ask myself the same question all the time! :D

and speaking about meat-men, my husband has a rotisserie called - George! - ?

Patricia said...

I have a meat lover husband too and I haven't been able to convert him yet - I would love to "share" the soup too!

Big Boys Oven said...

it must be lovely! you see the color is intense!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Your soup looks delicious! I laughed out loud at the name for the grill - too funny.

Nora B. said...

Belinda - I try to trick my man to eat lots of stuff, like teh other pay, I mashed sweet potato with regular potato and like you said, they gobble it up without complaining! :-) This soup freezes well. I brought some to lunch a few days after I made it and it was very filling.

Susan - You know me and chillies ;-) Thanks for giving me the space, although I didn't mention you, you should know that you are permanently in my nice list. :-)

Eva - Let me know what you & T think of the soup. I adjusted the cumin a bit, so you may want to add more depending on your taste.

Ashley - Thanks for dropping by. Yes, I figured I should post this in time for Halloween :-)

Truffle - Maybe don't tell him what's in it ;-)

Maninas - Thanks for dropping by. I'll have to tell my man about George so he doesn't feel he is the only one! :-) I love the recipes on your blog - I'll have to look through the archives.

Patricia - Be careful not to share all your food, because you will have to be prepared to eat less ;-)

BBOven - Yes, the colours were very appetising.

Lynn - It was pretty funny. He only told me about this when we were moving in together.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

What a great name for a bbq!
Beautiful soup. My hubby is a big meat eater and the youngest of the boys is too. Thankfully he's also addicted to cucumber and raw carrot so I don't have to worry too much.

Kevin said...

This soup looks good and sounds both tasty and hearty. I like the combination of flavours. Bookmarked to try.

Although I like my meat I often enjoy meals without any meat.

I don't think that I have tried hulled pumpkin seeds. I will have to try that. Though, once you have toasted the seeds the shells are nice a light and crunchy. (I have already toasted the seeds from 2 kabocha this fall.)

Thanks for the links!

tigerfish said...

Hahhaa, my meat-man at home does not eat chickpeas too! LOL!

Toni said...

Nora - I've never tried Japanese pumpkin, but anything that can call itself a squash is terrific in my book. And chickpeas? Love 'em! This soup makes my mouth water!

Welcome back, and thanks for the comment on the fires. Stay safe!

Sophie said...

My husband gives me that look too!

I like pumpkin soup with thai flavours so I can imagine chili and mustard would work really well too

Oh for the love of food! said...

Nora, your soup looks so comforting, and the pepitas add lovely texture and color contrast too! Beautiful!

Aimée said...

This looks like my kind of supper, Nora! As you know I have been on a bit of a pumpkin kick on my blog! Your photos are lovely and I am impressed with the progress you are making with your carnivorous partner! :)

Kate said...

I'm not a big fan of pumpkin , but this definately would tempt me to try it. Chickpeas, honey mustard... really sounds interesting. Have to try it out.Now only if i can get myself to buy 2kgs of pumpkin :P

Nora B. said...

Amanda - It's funny that you mentioned that because my partner loves munching on cucumbers and raw carrots too.

Kevin - I should be thanking you for the idea of toasting the seeds because I usually just throw them away. I eat pumpkin at least once per week, so I could have had a whole jar of toasted pumpkin seeds!

Tigerfish - heh heh :-)

Toni - Glad that you like the sound of this soup. It's good to be back. :-)

Sophie - I've not had pumpkin soup with Thai flavours, that's something for me to try next time. Thanks!

Carol - Thanks. I had to make it as attractive as possible for the man. But funnily enough, I had to fish out the pepitas because he didn't like them.

Aimée - Thank You. Yes, I am slowly but surely turning him into a lover of all things vegetarian. HA HA HA (*evil laughter*).

Kate - You can use sweet potatoes instead, if you prefer. Adjust the liquid content as needed. 2kg is a lot of pumpkin if you don't like pumpkin :-)

East Meets West Kitchen said...

Wow! That looks so healthy and delicious!

Margaret said...

I too won't eat chickpeas! Making soup isn't one of my stronger points and so I always admire these postings.

Cynthia said...

I love this post very much. The Black Stallion, hmmmm, men and their toys (lol)

chemcookit said...

What a funny beginning of your post, thanks for sharing the 'black stallion' part. :)
I loove chickpeas and your soup seems absolutely delicious!
Also, here is another delicious chickpea-related dish: farinata. Have you ever tried it? I have some posts on it on my blog (look under 'pizza and similar'). A delicious appetizer.

Kelly-Jane said...

A delicious rich ochre soup =) My hubby is the same, he used to say is there meat in this? when I cooked vegetarian meals. We've moved on from there, but chickpeas are still viewed with dislike / caution / indifference!!!

I think it's great the Q has given his BBQ a name!

Nora B. said...

East Meets West Kitchen - Yes, it was very healthy and surprisingly very filling.

Margaret - Thank you :-)

Cynthia - Thanks! Yes, men and their toys...

Marta - I haven't heard of farinata. I'll have to find out about it from your blog.

Kelly-Jane - My next "project" is tofu. ;-) This is be a more challenging because Q makes an even more exaggerated tortured look on his face when I mention tofu.

Nigel said...

As a card-carrying meat eater, I have to say that looks pretty damn delicious, Nora! As for "Stallion", that's a brilliant name - my converted oil drum bbq's called "Jack the Ribber" (largely because my girlfriend thought my original choice, "Smoke Shagger", was a bit silly...

Rosa said...

That looks and sounds like the squash we call potimarron in French, though ours is often a deep orange. Also, farinata is called socca in Nice - it's a kind of pancake made with chickpea flour, water, olive oil and salt. I can't wait to try your soup!