Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Chickpea Noodle Soup

My little vegan red-haired man had the flu a few days ago, so in a desperate attempt to keep myself from catching it, I wanted to make some garlicky, gingery, noodlely soup.

Ok, that's only half the story. The other half is that I was grading papers and I desperately needed some kitchen time or I was going to lose my mind.

People shouldn't be afraid of homemade noodles/pasta. It's easy and you don't end up with cardboard boxes to recycle. I'll apologize ahead of time for the vagueness of this recipe. It was a spur-of-the-moment thing a few days ago and I didn't write anything down...

Homemade Soup Noodles

1/2 c flour
2 tbsp soy flour
1 tbsp vital wheat gluten
3 tbsp powdered vegetable soup base/bouillon
pinch of salt

1. In a largish bowl, mix the flours, wheat gluten, veggie base and salt.
2. Begin adding water a tablespoon at a time while mixing until the dough forms and hold together.
3. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, adding little bits of water if needed to make a smooth ball.
4. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or an upturned bowl and let it sit for 1/2 an hour.
5. This gives time to start the soup.

Chickpea Soup
2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into thin slices
3 big cloves of garlic, sliced into slivers
1 large carrot, shredded or in matchsticks
3 cups shredded savoy cabbage
1 Rapunzel Vegetable Bouillon (sea salt and herbs) (mashed/broken up)
1 Rapunzel Vegetable Bouillon (low salt)(mashed/broken up)
1/2 can of chickpeas

1. In a large stockpot, I heated the garlic and ginger a bit before adding about 6-8 cups of water and the vegetable bouillon cubes.
2. I let the garlic and ginger boil for a few minutes (maybe 5).
3. Add the veggies and the chickpeas, cover and turn the heat down to simmer.

4. Take your ball of fully-rested dough and begin to roll it into a rectangle.
once it's quite thin (less than 1/4 inch, maybe 1/8), fold it into thirds, turn it 90 degrees and roll it again into a rectangle.
5. Repeat this folding and rolling 4 times. This develops the gluten and makes the dough nice and stretchy, which is what you want for noodles.
6. After the 4th fold/roll, let the dough rest for a minute or two while you stir the soup.
7. Now roll out the dough very very thin. You can make long noodles by cutting strips, or, if you have a cute little cutter or some kind, you can cut out shapes just as you would with cookie dough. I have a cute little flower-shaped cutter that works very well for this.
8. Make sure the soup is actively simmering and toss the noodles in as you cut them out. They're cooked when they float to the surface.

Some people might not like the big pieces of ginger, or might think that they're just for flavoring. When trying to fight off the flu, just eat them. Don't be a sissy.

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