After having tried a few recipes from The Voluptuous Vegan (a gift from Alex), I can definitely say that the book’s recipes are among the most unique I’ve tried. However, I can also say that it’s not a book to go to when you get home at 8pm wondering what to cook for dinner. The dishes are time consuming, but the results are very much worth it.
Last night I made the Creamy Chickpea Soup with Moroccan Spice Oil. The soup itself was pretty straightforward, though it took a couple hours to cook (like most good soups). Chickpeas are a pretty mellow ingredient, but they worked well in this particular dish. The key was the spice oil. It’s made by toasting whole cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds, then grinding them with ground cinnamon, ginger, and red pepper flakes. The spices are then transferred into a skillet with a 1/4 cup of olive oil and cooked until the oil is heated through. The mixture is then strained through cheese cloth (I used a spice bag) and the remaining dark brown oil can then be saved for a month in a tightly sealed jar. Just a bit of this oil is added to the soup just before serving and really adds a lot of strong flavors to the soup.
Though I can’t post the recipe here, I will point you to this hard to read page (a cache of the Vegetarian Times article that posted these recipes) that has the recipe for both the soup and the oil. Start with the phrase “This soup is a centerpiece unto itself…” and go through the phrase “… and store in tightly closed jar.”