Sunday, October 4, 2020

Sami Tamimi's Chilled Cucumber and Tahini Soup with Spicy Pumpkin Seeds for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Although I am limiting my cookbook purchases due to practicality (I own too many) and finances (pay cuts in times of COVID), but I decided to make an exception and give myself an early birthday present of Falastin by Sami Tamimi. Tamimi has co-authored two of my favorite cookbooks with Yotam Ottolenghi, Jerusalem and Ottolenghi Simple and we are cooking along with him at I Heart Cooking Clubs

There are many recipes I want to try but since it's Sunday and hot and humid, his Chilled Cucumber and Tahini Soup with Spicy Pumpkin Seeds won out as my first recipe to make. 

Sami says, "If you want something to be rich and creamy and vegan all at once, tahini is often the big secret, ingredient-wise. Swirled in a sauce, a dressing, or a soup, as here, tahini is a wonderful  way to enrich a dish. With the cucumber, lemon, and herbs doing all the work at the other end to lighten things up, this is a perfect meal for a summer day." 
Chilled Cucumber and Tahini Soup with Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
From Falastin by Sami Tamimi
(Serves 4)

Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup/40 g pumpkin seeds 
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp chile flakes (I used Aleppo pepper)
1/8 tsp salt

3 large cucumbers (2lb 2 oz/1kg) peeled
1/4 cup/65 g tahini
2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more to serve
2 lemons: finely grate the zest to get 2 tsp, then juice to get 1/4 cup/60ml
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup/10g dill, roughly chopped, plus a few fronds
3/4 tsp Aleppo chile flakes (or 1/2 tsp regular chile flakes)
3 1/2 oz/100g ice cubes
1 cup/20g mint leaves
1 cup/20g parsley, roughly chopped
salt and black pepper
1 tomato, cut into 1/4-inch/6mm dice (1/2 cup/80g)

To prepare the pumpkin seeds, put all the ingredients into a small sauté pan and place over medium heat. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until the seeds begin to color lightly and pop. Transfer to a bowl (or to an airtight container if making a batch) and set aside to cool. 

Cut off a roughly 3-oz/80g chunk of cucumber and slice in half. Scoop out the seedy core and put this in a countertop blender (or a deep bowl if you are using an immersion blender), then finely chop the remainder into 1 1/2-inch/1cm dice. Set this aside. Roughly chop the remaining 2 cucumbers into 3/4-inch/2cm chunks and transfer to the blender along with the tahini, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, chopped dill, Chile flakes, ice cubes, half the mint, half the parsley, 1 tsp salted a good grind of black pepper. Blitz for about 2 minutes, until completely smooth, then keep in the fridge until ready to serve. 

Divide the soup among four deep bowls and spoon the reserved cucumber and diced tomato on top. Shred the remaining mint and sprinkle this over each portion, along with the remaining parsley, the dill fronds, the spicy pumpkin seeds, and a final drizzle of oil and serve. 

Other Notes: 

Playing Around: Double or triple the batch for the pumpkin seeds, if you like; they keep for a week in a sealed container at room temperature, and are lovely sprinkled over all sorts of salads and roasted vegetables. 

Getting ahead: The soup can be made up to a day in advance; it keeps well and doesn't lose its color. Just give it a stir before serving, as there'll be a little water separation. 

Notes/Results: Rich and herby and satisfying, I really like this vegan soup. The tahini adds a nutty flavor that is brightened by the lemon. The best part? The spicy pumpkin seeds. I am glad I quadrupled the recipe because I have been munching on them all day. If I stop eating them and have enough, I think they'll be great on salads. I would happily make it again. 

Linking up with I Heart Cooking Clubs where we are welcoming Sami Tamimi as our featured chef for the next six months. 

Let's see who is here in the Souper Sundays kitchen this week!

Shaheen of Allotment2Kitchen brought a stew-ish Baby Tomato Kofta with Smoky Tomato Sauce and said, "...i made this Cypriot recipe called Domatokeftethes - Baby Tomato Kofta some time last week. The cookbook author writes ' this is kind of based on a Lenten Cypriot recipe. But it's got a splosh of Armenian and a sprinkle of Turkey in there too."

Judee of Gluten Free A - Z Blog shared pretty Beet and Cardamon Soup, saying "This soup is not for everyone-but if you like beets and these spices, dig in! I ate it warm and then chilled it too for the next day- I liked it best chilled the next day! If you try it, please let me know what you think???"

Kim of Stirring the Pot made Ina Garten's Cheesy Potato and Corn Chowder. She said, "This soup is everything I wanted it to be. It was good on day one and absolutely delicious on day two. Overnight the potatoes thickened the chowder and everything became more flavorful. I love the comforting nature of potato soup and the corn adds a touch of freshness. The bacon...who can argue with the crunchy saltiness of bacon on top? This is a hug in a bowl and exactly what I needed."

Thank you to all who joined me this week! 

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).

Hope you join in!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
Have a happy healthy week!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so happy you got the cookbook,Deb! I love mine and am so happy to have the push I need to cook from it. This soup looks gorgeous, the color and the toppings are everything! Those pumpkin seeds...yum!


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