Winter has finally arrived in Berlin.
And though it goes without saying, it is SO cold.
To me, the worst part of Winter is the dread and reluctance that comes with having to do anything at all, as it leads to bundling up in everything you own in order to brave the cold.
Fashion goes out the window. Looking like the Michelin Man is:
b) the smart thing to do
Although, if I had it my way, I'd readily spend the whole Winter cuddled up in a bay window drinking cocoa* with Mr. MacBook to keep me company.
Preferably with a view of the Swiss Alps.
*Imagine that tantalising cup of hot chocolate from "Chocolat". No, not Johnny Depp.
If you, like me, aren't convinced that leaving the house is a good idea and have been attempting to hibernate, it is prime time for rolling your sleeves up and peeling some chickpeas or whatever you call them.
Seriously. What else is there to do?
And once you've finished, there is nothing standing between you and your dreams... of incredibly smooth hummus and a hearty soup...
And "why pumpkin" you ask?
Because my hoarding tendencies have surrepticiously landed me as the owner of a dozen or so cans of Libby's Pumpkin Puree. I blame it on the chaos that is Thanksgiving.
Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Hummus
400g tin of chickpeas, roughly 1 cup, drained 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree 1 tsp of tahini paste (okay to omit if it's not in your pantry and it's winter) 4 tbs olive oil 2 tbs sriracha (more if you like it *spicy* ) 2 tbs maple syrup salt, pepper
Rinse and peel your chickpeas.
Blend the chickpeas, pumpkin puree and tahini in a food processor until it forms a coarse paste.
Add the olive oil and pulse until the mixture becomes smooth. It should become lighter in colour.
Add the Sriracha and maple syrup as well as salt and pepper to taste.
Blend until cohesive.
Garnish with pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds. Maybe some dried chili strands if you're feeling fancy. Because yes, you are the kind of person who would buy something that frivolous.
*Best eaten with freshly baked rosemary&thyme baguette chips.
Chickpea and Pumpkin Soup
For 2 generous bowls of soup: 400g tin of chickpeas, roughly 1 cup, drained 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree 1 tsp of tahini paste (okay to omit if it's not in your pantry and it's winter) 2 sprigs of thyme 1 tsp cayenne powder 1 tsp cumin 1 tsp coriander 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1 tbs maple syrup salt, pepper
Start as if you're making the hummus recipe above.
Once you've pulsed the mixture to a coarse paste, transfer it into a small saucepan and add some water or veg stock if you have some, about 3 cups.
Place over a medium heat.
Add your thyme and all of the spices. Season to taste and add the maple syrup. I know it sounds strange.
Stir every once in a while.
It is done when the most of the liquid has evaporated and has reached your desired consistency, about 5-10 minutes.
Remove the sprigs of thyme and serve.
On a self-promoting note, have you seen me in the press this week?
Adidas Peeks into my Daily Schedule.
Dancing in a lake with Designed by Alice, not Swan Lake but Snake Lake.
Okay. Spiel over.
© 2014 The Ballerina Chef