Thursday, October 9, 2008

Carrot and Chickpea Soup w/ Crispy Pancetta and Truffled Honey Popcorn

Okay here goes, I’m about to tell you how my brain works when I come up with new ideas! It’s definitely soup season here and I’ve been meaning to make a carrot soup, of course not just any ol carrot soup! Actually the more I think about it I know exactly how this particular dish evolved…it started this afternoon when I was eating roasted vegetable hummus and thought chickpeas, that would be good with carrots! I thought it would add some body to the soup as well as a bit of creaminess without having to add cream. Later I was at the gym doing my cardio while watching the food network (It’s extremely tragic that I don’t have cable at the moment, so this is the only chance I get to watch my food tv!) and was watching caramel popcorn being made when I thought popcorn…that could definitely work as a garnish! It would add some crunch to the creamy soup, as well visual appeal. Thinking about popcorn reminded me of this time I had popcorn drizzled with truffle oil. (This is where the wheels really started turning) and I remembered I had some truffled honey that I brought back from Italy and both truffles and honey would work nicely with carrots. I needed something to hold the popcorn garnish so it wouldn't get all soggy and melt into the soup, when I thought of pancetta, which would add a nice saltiness and crispy texture to the smooth soup as well. Visualizing how I would serve it, I realized it needed a bit more color then the orange soup, red pancetta and white popcorn which made me think of dill, which goes great with carrots and would add a nice touch of green. Soo that is my thought process! Sometimes I think it's a great concern how much I think about food...! Above is a pic of the delicious truffled honey which I drizzled on the popcorn. I could eat this stuff by the spoonfuls!
Carrot and Chickpea Soup w/ Crispy Pancetta and Truffled Honey Popcorn
8 local carrots, small diced
1 white onion, small diced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk of celery, small diced
2 cups cooked chickpeas (if using canned, drain and rinse)
8 cups chicken stock (I used organic veg stock this time)
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped, reserve some for garnish
honey to taste (regular honey, optional depending on how sweet your carrots are)
s+p
Garnishes:
pancetta, pan fried (or baked) till crispy
popcorn
truffled honey (or regular honey)
fresh dill
*another option is to finish the soup with truffle oil or fresh truffles if you can get your hands on them*

1. Heat oil in a big pot and sweat off onions, then carrot and celery, then garlic and ginger until soft. Add in chickpeas
2. Add stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Use a hand blender, regular blender or food processor, puree until smooth.
3. Season to taste and finish with dill.

2 comments:

Lois said...

This looks great! I'll have to try this next time I have friends over for a dinner party. Thanks for another great, and healthy, recipe!

Amanda said...

I like how your wheels spin! Great idea. I will try it sometime.