Saturday, April 2, 2011

Chickpea Rice Soup with Cabbage and Lemon Gem Cupcakes

If you are wondering if I am power blogging today, the answer is:  Yes, I am.  I didn't mean to.  Actually, I meant to blog about my Brown Rice with Veggies and Roasted Veggies last week when I made them on Wednesday.  The problem was that I didn't get to eat until 9:45 PM, and by then, I was too tired to blog.

I had to work to 7:00 PM on Thursday to cover for another manager due to a family emergency, so when I got home at 8:30 PM, all I could think about was watching Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice.  Turns out I could have skipped Grey's Anatomy last week.  I absolutely HATED it.  I do not care for 99% of all musicals.  And on Friday, well, it's the end of the week.  I ate dinner with my sons and then I watched the Bulls game with my son and read a book about Ruth (in the Bible) on my Kindle.

So today, I am cooking.  I like cooking on the weekends.  I ran through all of my soup on Monday and had no soup in the house.  I have grown to love soup over the last year and love having it on hand for my fast food.  I have some in the freezer, but I wanted to make a soup I've never had.  So, I turned to my bookmarks to see what links I had saved.  I found a recipe for Chickpea Rice Soup with Cabbage on Post Punk Kitchen
This recipe was perfect for me as I had chickpeas in the freezer.  However, I only had two cups and I used them all, so I'll be cooking more in my pressure cooker tomorrow.  Plus, I had a big head of cabbage that I needed to use.  I didn't have any baby carrots, but I had regular carrots.  I used a half of a head of cabbage, which is double what the recipe listed.  I also use 8 cups of water with 1 no-chicken bouillon cube and 1 low-sodium vegetable bouillon cube.
I didn't think the recipe had enough spices in it, so I added 1 teaspoon of dried jalapeno flakes and maybe half teaspoon of cayenne pepper.  I also put a healthy squirt (maybe a teaspoon or so) of Siracha sauce in the soup.  It added some zip.  I didn't have fresh dill, so I ended up using a teaspoon or so of dried dillweed. 
The soup is good.  I think it may have been better with the fresh dill added just before eating.  Definitely, for my tastes, the extra spices were a requirement.  Otherwise, it would have been too bland for me.  It's a nice, basic soup.
I also am baking today.  A friend, Amy, turned 40 on Wednesday.  Tonight, a group of girlfriends are gathering to have dinner and then go to a club for cocktails, dancing, and dessert.  My contribution will be Vegan Lemon Gem Cupcakes.  The recipe is from Vegan with a Vengeance, and interestingly enough, both of the recipes I made today are by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.
The cupcakes were very easy to make.  I used an electric mixer to combine the wet and dry ingredients and I'm not sure I was supposed to do that.  It made the batter very light and airy, but I had more batter than 12 cupcakes, so I put the remainder in two ramekins.  I did taste the batter and it was VERY good.  And the baked cupcakes have a great flavor, with a subtle lemon flair that isn't overwhelming.  However, there was a serious problem with that frosting recipe.
There was way too much liquid in the frosting recipe and the frosting was a "soup" not a frosting that could be spread on the cupcakes.  As you can see, at first, I tried to use it, but I have to transport these cupcakes to dinner tonight and a soupy mess will not work.  I opted for a more traditional vanilla frosting.
As you can see, this will work much better for the dinner tonight.  I'd make the recipe for the cupcakes again, but definitely will not be trying that frosting again.  I made two batches of it and both were disasters.  Hopefully the cupcakes with the vanilla frosting will be a hit.


  1. That soup sounds great. I'm with you on the extra spice! Also, I had the same problem with that frosting.

    We'd love you to join us in Vine and Dine. I'm not a fan of eggplant either, and I'd never know it was in there. But feel free to sub! We had it with the Garlic Glazed Green Beans, which were awesome!

  2. Hey, Tami, I may try the recipe with the eggplant, then. I had an eggplant and zucchini lasagna last year and just couldn't get past the eggplant. I ate it (as I froze several portions), but I won't use it again in lasagna.