fab. vegan recipe of the day: ‘Indian-spiced squash, pear and adzuki bean soup with mixed mushrooms’

Posted on October 12, 2012

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Today (12th October), Lisa posted an item on her Lisa’s kitchen web-site which includes a fab. vegan recipe titled ‘Indian-spiced squash, pear and adzuki bean soup with mixed mushrooms’.

‘… Squash is naturally sweet, especially when roasted to really bring out that goodness that pairs so well with a variety of spice combinations and in this case, some beans and pear. No additional sweetener needed here. This elegant side is more filling than you might think and served with a rustic quick bread for dinner, you easily have a complete meal. Everyone present was satisfied, for hours, literally …

Indian-Spiced Squash, Pear and Adzuki Bean Soup with Lightly Braised Mixed Mushrooms

2 acorn squashes
1/2 cup dried adzuki beans, rinsed and soaked overnight in enough water to cover

2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 – 2 leeks, trimmed and sliced into rounds
1 large carrot, washed and diced
2 stalks celery, washed and thinly sliced

1 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 – 3 seeded jalapenos, finely chopped

1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 – 3 black cardamon pods, slightly crushed
1 1/2 inch stick of cinnamon
2 teaspoons kashmiri chili or chili powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon mace (optional)
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne

4 – 6 cups vegetable stock

2 firm Bartlett pears, peeled, seeded and cut into small strips or cubes
pinch or two of saffron

freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1 – 2 teaspoons sea salt, to taste

juice from two fresh limes

For the mushroom garnish:

roughly 4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
0.5 ounces or 14 grams of dried mixed wild mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes, drained and chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon tamari

fresh thyme sprig for garnish (optional, but it looks pretty)

Begin by roasting the squash. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and position the rack in the middle of the oven. Cut the squash in half, remove the seeds and pulpy bits, brush with butter or oil, transfer to an oiled pan and bake until the squash is fork tender – about 40 – 50 minutes. Let cool. Remove the skin and scoop the pulp into a small bowl.

While the squash is roasting, drain the soaked beans, transfer to a medium pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the beans are tender – about 45 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. When hot, add the leek, carrot and celery and stir and fry for about 10 minutes. Now add the ginger, garlic and jalapenos and stir and fry for another few minutes. Toss in the cumin seeds, cardamon pods, cinnamon stick and ground spices. Stir for another minute or until the spices are fragrant.

Now pour in the about 4 cups of the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Add the roasted squash, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more stock as necessary.

Add the chopped pear and saffron, cook for another 5 – 10 minutes and then blend part of the soup with a hand blender or food processor. Add the cooked adzuki beans, along with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes or so to blend the flavors, stirring often and again adding more stock as needed.

While the soup is simmering, prepare the mushrooms. Heat the olive oil and sesame oil in a large heavy bottomed frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, stir in the fresh and dried mushrooms and stir and fry until they begin to turn brown – about 6 – 8 minutes. Stir the tamari into the pan and stir and fry for another minute, or until the liquid is absorbed.

Remove the cinnamon stick and any cardamon pods visible in the soup, stir the lime juice in just before serving and taste for seasoning. Garnish each bowl with some of the fried mushrooms and some fresh thyme. Serve hot.

Note: You can swirl a bit of fresh [vegan] cream into the soup before garnishing with the mushrooms if desired.

Serves 6 …’

Read the item in full and the recipe, use links to other recipes, view images and add your comment online at http://foodandspice.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/indian-spiced-squash-pear-and-adzuki.html

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