Saturday, May 17, 2014

Moroccan quinoa soup and savoury carrot hotcakes

One of the first dishes I made from my recent cookbook win, The Vegan Cookbook, was this Moroccan quinoa soup. Combining northern African spices with tomatoes, quinoa and kale, the soup is a deliciously hearty meal that is jam-packed full of nutrition and flavour.


I adapted the dish to suit what I had on hand, and to try and cater to Mr Bite's tastes as well as my own. To that end, I omitted harissa, which would otherwise have added a spicy kick; used slightly less quinoa than called for; didn't bother with mint (as I didn't have it); and added parsnip and carrot as well as zucchini (courgette). I also added a dash of lemon juice, which I have found brings out the flavours of tomato-based stews and soups.

Happily, Mr B. and I both enjoyed the result. We also enjoyed the savoury carrot hotcakes that I made to accompany the soup. It was very satisfying to sit down to a meal made entirely from basic ingredients - just vegetables, spices and plain flour / grains - and find the meal complete in every way.


The carrot hotcakes are really a savoury version of my much loved carrot cake pikelets. I simply used chickpea flour in place of spelt, and omitted the milk, cinnamon, vanilla and raisins. They were an easy way to round out the meal, and generate left overs for the next day too.


Moroccan quinoa soup
A hearty soup that is almost thick enough to be called a stew
Vegan and low fat
Serves 4 to 6

Author: Adapted from the Moroccan quinoa soup in Adele McConnell's The Vegan Cookbook


Ingredients
1 tsp olive oil
1 large brown onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 zucchini (courgette), diced
1 parsnip, diced
1 carrot, diced
1-1/2 cups or 1 tin (375g) crushed tomatoes
1-1/2 cups or 1 tin (375g) white beans of choice (e.g., cannelloni beans)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp mild paprika
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
6 - 8 cups vegetable stock
1/2 bunch kale, roughly chopped
2 tsp lemon juice

Method
In a large saucepan, heat the oil and saute the onion and garlic. 

When the onion is golden, add the zucchini, parsnip, carrot, tomatoes, beans, spices, quinoa and stock. Bring to the boil, stir well, and then reduced heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. 

Add the kale and cook for a further 5 to 10 minutes over low heat, uncovered. Add the lemon juice just before serving.

Savoury carrot hotcakes
An easy accompaniment to soups and stews
Makes 16 small hotcakes
Vegan and low fat

Author: Bite-sized thoughts


Ingredients
1/2 cup plain wheat flour
1/2 cup chickpea (besan) flour
1 cup water
1 medium-large carrot, grated

Oil, for cooking, as needed

Method
Combine the flours and water in a mixing bowl and whisk well to combine. Add the grated carrot and stir to incorporate.

Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat and grease with oil if desired. Add heaped dessertspoons of batter to the pan, cooking several hotcakes at once if pan size permits. 

Allow the hotcakes to cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Repeat for the remaining batter and then serve warm.


 Are you a fan of Moroccan dishes? It's a cuisine I need to explore more.

22 comments:

  1. Wow, such a fabulous home-cooked meal. The soup looks absolutely bursting with flavour, and the hotcakes are so different to the usual.

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    1. Thanks so much - we really enjoyed it!

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  2. This is such a wonderful and comforting looking meal with such a lovely array of spices! I love the carrot hotcakes that go along with it - they make such a simple yet delicious final touch to the meal! As for Moroccan food, I have not cooked it much but absolutely adore couscous!

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  3. love the savoury carrot hotcakes - I have done lurid carrot pancakes but I think pikelets sounds an even better approach to savoury pancakes - sounds like a great meal

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    1. I think I take any excuse to get pikelets into my diet ;)

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  4. I just used your recipe to make this for lunch! The only thing I did differently was reduce the stock to 4 C (I like thick soups), omitted the parsnip (didn't have it), and used frozen leaf spinach instead of the kale (that's what I happened to have)'oh, and I added just 1/2 t of garam masala seasoning at the end with the lemon juice. So full of flavor!!

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    1. Oh, wonderful! Thanks so much for letting me know Kelly - I always love hearing when others make versions of things I post. I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

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  5. I love your plates. The soup sounds amazing and I love how it has a splash of lemon juice in it. What great comfort cooking and those carrot hotcakes sound divine xx

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    1. Thanks Charlie - and as for the plates, would you believe they were a second hand, free gift when I set up home? They were the childhood set of a friend, who received them from her family when she moved out, but then had surplus (and some of these are chipped) so gave them on to me. I love thinking of their history!

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  6. What a delicious sounding meal! Sadly, quinoa and I don't get along, but I bet I could substitute a grain.

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    1. I'm not doing well for you, posting two quinoa containing recipes in a row! You could easily substitute in brown rice or barley though, or even pasta :)

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  7. A healthy home cooking like this is sooo comforting. I like your plates, too!

    Julie
    Gourmet Getaways

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  8. This looks like such a lovely warming meal - even when adapted to Mr Bite's tastes ;) Sometimes I feel like all my time is the kitchen is spent adapting the meal to the tastes of each person in our household! And kids are even fussier than partners!!!

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    1. I can only imagine!! I have a new sympathy for my own mother as she spend all of my childhood doing that kind of adapting too :P

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  9. Nice! With your upcoming move, who would have thought you'd be eating so well? Glad to hear you are enjoying the cookbook. :)

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    1. Thanks again for hosting the give away :D

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  10. Loving the carrot hotcake idea :-)

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    1. I'm definitely going to be making them again!

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  11. Sounds/looks delicious - I love Moroccan spices!

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    1. And you can probably call yourself an expert, being in the rare category of people who have actually had them within Morocco itself!

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