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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Chilled Beet Soup, Chickpea Sprouts

Hey guys! I hope your Saturday was a nice one. Usually I work on Saturdays but I took the day off to get some work done on my zine and around the house. I feel like I accomplished a lot, so I'm happy. I was almost planning to stop by Smorgasburg, a food flea market in Brooklyn, because I've been hearing good things, but I opted not to in favor of errands, writing, and cleaning - and also because upon further research it sounds disturbingly meat based. I appreciate eating local, and supporting independent "artisan" entrepreneurs but where are the jams? The pickles? Vegan turnovers? The beers?? I guess I've got to get on that..otherwise some really disturbing quail-egg eating trends will start. Since when is killing animals hip? Yuck. I don't even like reading the list of vendors.
So home it was in my cruelty-free kitchen.
You guys saw the massive beets from yesterday. I chopped some of those up with a sweet potato to make Isa Moskowitz's Chilled Golden Beet and Ginger Soup. The beets I got were chiogga, which are candy-striped. There was one small golden beet in the bunch, but I added the sweet potato because Isa described the taste of golden beets as if "the old reliable red beet went out dancing with a butternut squash way past curfew. It’s got that great earthy backdrop, but a tangy sweetness is the first taste." I didn't have squash, but I though sweet potato would give it a starchy sweet taste, as well as the color that the chiogga beets lack. And then I just had to trust Isa.
Here's the mix, before cooking:

The chiogga beets turned oddly gray after roasting for some reason but I trudged forth through the recipe, meanwhile spilling coconut milk on my tablecloth and root vegetable puree all over the floor. Caveat emptor: if you make this soup (and it's worth it) you'll need to use either a large food processor or a blender. I used a food processor because I thought it could hold more but it leaked all over the place. Aaaannyway, enough of my problems: here's dinner.

Beet soup (topped with sriracha) with a beet-heavy salad on the side, ha. The soup was really good! I was intrigued by the idea and I trust Isa Moskowitz but, honestly, I had no idea how it would turn out. Beets are very earthy tasting and her flavorings (coconut milk, lime, ginger) are more tropical and light so it sounds bizarre but it made for a really subtle, velvety soup. I do recommend the sriracha topping, though. It pulls everything together. Plus you can make cute little faces.
Also, I kept an eye on my chickpea sprouts today! Early in the morning I found two that had gone fuzzy (agh!) and took them out so as not to ruin the rest of the batch. Apparently sprouts can be very temperamental and go bad easily.

Here's another one I dropped, so I won't use it but just to show you the little tail:

G thinks my zucchini/beet pictures in the last post were obscene. I wonder what he'll have to say about that one.


  1. There are so many vegan-friendly vendors at Smorgasburg I can't even list them here. There are even a few that are exclusively vegan, like me!Every week I do a different vegan specialty. Yesterday, it was jackfruit cakes (vegan crab cakes) topped with sweetcorn relish, slaw and tomato aioli on fresh baked spelt buns.

    If you want more details on where to eat, let me know! I just made a list for someone else.

  2. I hear you on the locavore thing; sometimes it just seems like an excuse for them to eat even more meat and cheese! Sheesh, why can't they just be happy with fruits and veggies...what riches! What more could anyone possibly want?

    Anyway, it was genius of you to toss in the sweet potato in the absence of enough golden beets. The soup turned out a lovely color; I think color and texture of a soup are almost as important as its flavor.

    The little sriracha face is cute and demure.

  3. I tried sprouting chickpeas a while back (to plant them, actually, not eat them) and the exact same thing happened to me. I soaked a whole bunch, and 95% went fuzzy and gross. The remainders that survived never actually grew into plants though. That experiment was quite a bust.

  4. those beets are so pretty! i thought i was looking at a bowl of candy.

  5. I have never seen chickpea sprouts, they look so fuzzy and cute though. I don't know why I think like that, but it's nice to know how they were grown. I am in love with golden beet, it's quite a common ingredient in Peruvian cuisine.

    lovely beet colours, too :)

    xxx from Vienna

  6. Anita, thanks for letting me know and good for you. I've actually heard some stuff about your goods there. I'll probably stop by eventually. I was just really turned off by all the twitter feed about fried chicken this, chorizo that, yogurt everywhere.

    Rose, what riches is right :) The texture and color were very nice, I just hope I did the beet flavor justice. I can tell you appreciate color because of your beautiful pea soup!

    Hannah, what a bummer! I've heard it's really hard - I didn't start with too many so I didn't waste them all. Maybe a lot makes them go bad more quickly, all sitting on top of each other?

    Sara, ha, they are beautiful. My boyfriend said they looked like cheese.

    Rika, the sprouts are cute but I wish they weren't fuzzy. Peruvian cuisine, eh? That's definitely something I've got to get into.

  7. Air-circulation, daily rinsing etc are important to prevent the fuzz and the gross.

    This is true for the sprouts as well.

  8. Shen, spoken like a zen raw master. I need more air-circulation myself.


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