Dumpling stew with chickpeas and fennel

(Nederlandstalige versie)

I’m seeing a bunch of beautiful things for the “something blue” prompt today! Me, I’ve got a recipe for days when you’re the one feeling blue. It’s nothing special, but it’s not supposed to be. It’s the kind of meal I like when I’m ill, or sad, or cold, or just craving chickpeas and dumplings. I first discovered dumplings like these in the Don’t Eat Off the Sidewalk zine, so that’s what my recipe is based on as well.

Dumpling stew

Serves two (with leftovers, which taste even better)

For the stew:
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
3 medium-sized leeks, halved and thinly sliced
2 fennel bulbs, halved and thinly sliced
3 medium-sized carrots, halved and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chickpeas
1 litre (about 4 cups) salted vegetable stock
a few sprigs of fresh parsley, minced
freshly ground black pepper

For the dumplings:
1/2 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
120 ml (1/2 cup) plain unsweetened soya yoghurt


1. Add the 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil to a pot or large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the leeks and fry them for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the fennel and carrots as you chop them.

2. Stir the minced garlic into the vegetables and cook for a minute or so, then add the chickpeas, stock, parsley, and black pepper. Turn the heat up to high and cover the pan with a lid while the stock comes to the boil.

3. Meanwhile, make the dumpling dough. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flours, the baking powder, the salt, and the dried basil. Pour over the oil and soya yoghurt and stir to form a relatively firm dough — but try not to overwork it.

4. Turn the heat down once the stock has come to the boil. Take tablespoon-sized pieces of the dumpling dough, roll them into balls, and place them on top of the stew. I got 13 dumplings out of this recipe. Cover the pan with a lid again and let the stew simmer for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and the dumplings are firm to the touch.

5. Garnish with more fresh parsley and fennel fronds if you like (or if you’re taking a picture). Serve hot.

Links of the day

I know my post for this prompt is a little late, but there are so many other blogs to read! Here are some of my favourite blue things from today/yesterday:
Vegan gorgonzola (available in Barcelona — so no, not a recipe, but still really cool to see!) posted by Caitlin from The Vegan Word
Homemade blue food colouring made with red cabbage and baking soda by Kuri the Vegan
Blue cookbooks (with quick reviews) by Susan from Kittens Gone Lentil

Friday favourites

(Nederlandstalige versie)

It’s Friday and I have favourite things I want to tell you about!

#1: When my wife was a shiitake

Rice and shiitakes
Yesterday I read the short story When My Wife Was a Shiitake, in which a man rediscovers food after his wife passes away, and I immediately felt inspired to make sushi with stewed shiitakes. I soaked my shiitakes in water, pan-fried them in oil, stewed them in water with soy sauce, vegetarian oyster sauce, and a pinch of sugar, and served them on top of vinegared brown rice with vegetables on the side.

#2: Pancake soup

Pancake soup!

Pancake soup! I’d heard about this before (probably on Mihl’s blog) but I decided I had to try it after reading this post by Bianca. You make a few thin pancakes, cut them into strips, and put them in your vegetable soup. They’re like noodles, but thicker and better and more like pancakes.

#3: Gewoon Vegan

Gewoon Vegan is a new website by Martine from Vegetus with photos and reviews of vegan products you can buy in the Netherlands. It’s already helped me discover a few things I didn’t know about!

#4: Vegan Easter eggs

Chocolate Easter eggs

If you’ve been to Martine’s site you already know about this, but just in case you don’t: Lidl now has several kinds of vegan chocolate eggs! Pictured above are amaretto-filled eggs (on the left), eggs filled with hazelnut praline (on the right), and a big hollow egg (in the middle). Usually solid dark chocolate eggs are the only vegan ones (in regular supermarkets, anyway) so I’m glad Lidl is giving vegans a few more options this year.

#5: Poffertjes


I finally made poffertjes in my waffle iron and that worked wonderfully and now I want to eat them every week. I did feel like these came out a little drier than the ones made in a poffertjespan, but that may have been due to the amount of fat I used. I updated my recipe so it’s now available in Dutch as well as English and in grams as well as cups.

Have a good weekend! :)

Market log: roasted pumpkin bowl and green soup

(Nederlandstalige versie)

Market day 14 November

Here’s what I bought at the market last month (I’m such a slow blogger): red onions for €1, round courgettes for €1, leeks for €1, four pomegranates for €1, two bunches of fresh coriander and one bunch of fresh parsley for €1, and a butternut squash for €1.50 (as well as bags of spinach and a garlic, €1 each, that I forgot when I took the picture).

Unfortunately two of the pomegranates were brown on the inside (maybe I should’ve peeled them all straight away) and we ate most of the other two as a snack, but I managed to save a few seeds to sprinkle into this bowl:

Roasted pumpkin and chickpeas

It’s roasted chickpeas, pumpkin and pumpkin seeds over short-grain brown rice with a coriander, parsley and tahini sauce. I crammed everything into my little oven at the same time so it was tricky to get the chickpeas and seeds crispy while the pumpkin had to soften, but the flavours were great together. Next time I think I’ll try stacking an oven dish and a baking sheet on top of each other and see how that goes.

Curry soup Green soup

On the left: I posted about this curry soup here. I had the leftovers (which get very thick and creamy) while sitting in the couch under a blanked because it’s been COLD. The only thing I got from the market in this soup was the fresh coriander (and chilli peppers I bought and dried months ago), but I think it counts because this post needed an extra picture.

On the right: I had no idea what to make for dinner until I saw this green soup recipe on the Dutch blog Ikbenirisniet. I had no cucumber, peas, or celery so I just used the green vegetables I did have (leeks, courgettes, spinach, parsley and coriander ) and it was still super good. This is a great way to get a variety of greens into your day with minimal effort. (My blender doesn’t like green smoothies and it’s way too cold for them anyway.)

Other things I made but didn’t photograph included a pumpkin and spinach curry, a polenta pie with red onions, and just a whole lot of mixed vegetable soups. (Did I mention it’s cold? OK I’ll shut up now.)

I’ve posted my most recent market haul here. It included a ridiculous amount of dill so if you happen to have any dill-heavy recipes you recommend, please send them my way. :)

Curry soup with lentils and rice

(Nederlandstalige versie)

Curry soup

I’ve been making this soup a lot lately while trying to get used to the cold weather: it uses ingredients I usually have on hand, so I don’t have to go out into the rain to get groceries, and it requires very little chopping and preparing so I can just get everything into the pot and go hide under a blanket near the heater while it cooks. The recipe is pretty budget-friendly (I sometimes leave out the coconut milk, though if you have it definitely put it in!) and you can add extra vegetables if you like. I’ve made it with cauliflower, chickpeas, kale, potatoes—but the basic version is still my favourite.

This is a slightly modified version of a recipe from my Mum’s recipe binder (she also makes it a lot). The original is on a magazine clipping with no other information so unfortunately I can’t tell you who wrote it. Whoever came up with it: thank you! :)

Curry soup with lentils and rice

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, halved and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 or 2 red chillies, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 1/2 litres (about 6 cups) vegetable stock
150 grams (3/4 cup) brown rice
150 grams (3/4 cup) red lentils
200 ml (3/4 cup) coconut milk
toasted sliced almonds and fresh coriander/cilantro (optional)

1. Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté them until they’re translucent (about ten minutes).

2. Stir the red chilli and the curry powder into the onions and sauté for another minute. Add the vegetable stock and the rice. Rinse the red lentils in a sieve under cold water and add them to the pot as well. Cover the pot and turn the heat up to high until the stock comes to the boil, then turn down the heat and let the soup simmer until the rice is cooked and the lentils have fallen apart (about 40 minutes).

3. Mix the coconut milk into the soup and serve it with fresh coriander, almonds and/or bread.

Carrot Soup from Graasland and Naan from Vegan Eats World

Can you believe tomorrow’s the last day of VeganMoFo already? I didn’t get to write (or read) as many posts as I would’ve liked for various reasons, but I still want to post as much as I can before October’s over! I’d intended to spend my afternoon and evening making all kinds of baked goods to freeze for later: pumpkin bagels, earl grey-scented bread rolls, cranberry muffins, maybe a loaf or two of bread… so many wonderful plans. Sadly, though, my beloved little oven decided to stop working just as I wanted to begin (noooo!), so I’ve been trying to think of other ways to satisfy my need for breads and sweet treats. So far I’ve come up with waffles, pancakes, crepes, flatbreads…
Roasted Carrot Soup

Speaking of flatbreads! Pictured above is some fresh cumin seed naan served with a bowl of curried carrot soup. The naan bread is a recipe from Terry Hope Romero’s new book Vegan Eats World, which I picked up last week when I attended her book launch & cooking demo in Amsterdam! The book is full of inspiring recipes but my boyfriend and I both love naan so this bread was a  great place to start. I’ve made other naan recipes before that were pretty similar to this one, but it worked really well and I’d really like to try some of the variations as well (coriander & garlic naan!). It’s the only thing I’ve made from the book so far but the other recipes sound very promising as well so I can’t wait to try more. We had the chance to try her olive seitan after the cooking demo and I liked that a lot, so I’m planning on making that as soon as possible.

To go with the bread, I made this roasted carrot soup from Gnoe’s blog Graasland. I love roasted carrots (how I miss my oven already…) but I hadn’t tried them in a soup yet, so this was a lovely recipe to try. I did make the small change of using an Indian curry paste rather than a Thai one, which really changes the whole flavour of the soup, but it went very well with the naan bread! Oh, and I had to estimate the amount of carrots I used as my kitchen scales decided to stop working, too. I need to take better care of my kitchen!

Has anyone else gotten Vegan Eats World yet? Have you tried any recipes? I’d love to hear recommendations! Gnoe also posted pictures of the samples we got to try at the demo – olive chickpea seitan with lemony cashew sauce and banana chocolate cheesecake with a speculoos biscuit crust. Amazing.

Pumpkin, lentil, and date soup from Vegalicious

Pumpkin, lentil, and date soupWe’ve been having more and more cold autumn days, so when I came home with a small round pumpkin a few days ago we immediately decided to turn it into a pot of thick, comforting soup. I wanted to make something slightly different from the soups I usually make, so I chose this recipe for pumpkin soup with red lentils and dates from Vegalicious. There were at least ten other amazing-looking pumpkin soup recipes on there, as well (that website is such a great resource!) but I happened to have the ingredients on hand for this one. I added fewer dates than the recipe called for because I was worried the sweetness might be too much (I have a weird aversion to sweetness in some savoury foods) but it was not overpowering at all so I would have no problem making the recipe as written next time. I also like that while it isn’t overly spicy, the small amount of pepper really adds to the warming quality of the dish. Mmm, pumpkin soup is the best.

The post on Vegalicious also refers to a recipe for bread bowls, which I though was a really cool idea, so I decided to make those while the soup was simmering. These turned out even better than I’d expected – the dough was pretty easy to shape (I used four small ramekins and made bread sticks with the leftover pieces) and the bowls were very sturdy so we didn’t have to worry about soup seeping out as we kept going back for second and third helpings. It’s probably a good thing I made them relatively small, though – when we ate the bowls at the end of the meal they were surprisingly filling. I added some wholemeal flour and dried herbs to the dough so they tasted great and were pretty healthy, too. And I just love the idea of edible bowls!

Curried Lentil Soup from Oh-Grow-A-Pear

Today was dark and rainy – a perfect day to stay inside, read a book, have a big mug of tea, and make some soup!

Curried Lentil SoupThe idea for this soup comes from the Souper Saturday category of Oh-Grow-a-Pear, a lovely new food blog I started reading recently. I make lentil soup pretty often but I had fun playing around with the spices and toppings for this one. I love how a simple pot of lentils can become so flavourful, especially without the addition of pre-made stock cubes – just spices and a little salt! I love the chickpeas & apricots in the topping, though next time I may just add them all to the pot near the end so they soften a bit more. All in all, this soup was very warm and comforting – just what I wanted today.

Now, I think I’ll go back to that book and tea I mentioned. Happy MoFoing!