Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Carrot Soup, Tahini Lemon Drizzle, Crispy Chickpeas

Lots of soup weather happening right now. And lots of quarantine too. The world has been pretty crazy and since it's been awhile since I've updated, the COVID-19 lock down of basically most of the United States has been a huge change for everyone. California was the first state to go into lock down for the nation (first San Francisco, then Los Angeles) and today is officially the 23rd day for Los Angeles. I'm going to recap some items that I've seen on different forms of social media at the end of this post, just so there's a weird form of documentation for this crazy time.

Due to some mass panic buying throughout the beginning/middle of March, we had to adjust with some of the recipes that we've been making. A lot of basics were cleaned out (rice, eggs, flour, onions, potatoes, garlic, pasta, dried beans, etc) - plus, toilet paper and any/all sanitizing items were gone (though that has nothing to do with cooking!).

This soup was one of the things that I made earlier in March, from Smitten Kitchen. The use of a ton of carrots and very little else makes this a great, healthy soup. The crispy chickpeas and tahini lemon drizzle are optional, if you don't have them on hand. A dollop of sour cream or yogurt might be nice in a pinch.

Carrot Soup, Tahini Lemon Drizzle, Crispy Chickpeas
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Serves 4-6

2 Tbps olive oil
2 lbs carrots, peeled, diced/coined
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp regular table salt
Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes
4 cups chicken broth

Crispy chickpeas:
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained, dried
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin

Tahini Lemon Drizzle:
3 Tbps tahini paste
3-4 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp water

Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add all the soup ingredients, with the exception of the broth, and sauté until they begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Add broth and stir around to mix thoroughly. Cover pot with lid and simmer until carrots are tender, stirring occasionally, about 25-30 minutes.

Heat your oven to 425 degrees F. Toss chickpeas to coat evenly with olive oil, salt and cumin. Spread them on a baking sheet and roast until they’re browned and crisp, tossing after 10 minutes and then every 5 minutes thereafter. It can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes for them to become crispy. Taste as you go to check!

In a small bown, whisk together tahini, lemon juice, salt and water until smooth and yogurt-like. If more liquid is needed to thin it, you can add a little more lemon juice or water, until you get your desired consistency.

First case reported to World Health Organization on December 31, 2019
Declared as an international public health emergency on January 30, 2020
Declared as an international pandemic on March 11, 2020

  • Gas prices have gone to as low as $2.50 for Los Angeles
  • School cancelled for the rest of the year. Students and teachers are adapting to distance learning.
  • Parents feel what it’s like to home school their children while trying to work and trying to feed them 3 meals a day and 2 snacks.
  • Social distancing measures are on the rise. Stay at least 6 feet away from others.
  • Tape on the floors at grocery stores and others to help distance shoppers from each other.
  • Limited number of people inside stores, therefore, lineups outside the store doors.
  • Non-essential stores and businesses are mandated to be closed. Essential services need to carry a letter to explain why they're going into work, in case they are stopped.
  • Parks, trails, entire cities locked up.
  • Entire sports seasons - cancelled.
  • Summer Olympics of 2020 in Japan - postponed.
  • Concerts, tours, festivals, entertainment events - cancelled.
  • Weddings, family celebrations, holiday gatherings - cancelled.
  • No masses, churches are closed. Services are streamed.
  • No gatherings of 50 or more, then 20 or more, now 10 or more.
  • Don't socialize with anyone outside of your home.
  • Children's outdoor play parks are closed.
  • Racism and hate crimes again Asian Americans.
  • Shortage of masks, gowns, gloves for our front-line workers.
  • Shortage of ventilators for the critically ill.
  • Panic buying - have no toilet paper, no disinfecting supplies, no paper towels, no laundry soap, no hand sanitizer, no baby products.
  • Shelves are bare - dried beans, pasta, yeast, flour, eggs
  • Manufacturers, distilleries and other businesses switch their lines to help make visors, masks, hand sanitizer and PPE.
  • Government closed international borders to all non-essential travel.
  • Low domestic travel. Tons of flights cancelled and some flights with just one passenger.
  • Fines are established for breaking the rules ($1000, misdemeanor, removal of non-essential business licenses/utilities)
  • Stadiums and recreation facilities open up for the overflow of COVID-19 patients.
  • Press conferences daily from the President and the state governors. Daily updates on new cases, recoveries, and deaths.
  • Government sending stimulus package to most Americans.
  • People are wearing masks and gloves outside. California is requiring masks to be worn at anytime outside, as of April.
  • Essential service workers and medical field workers are afraid to go to work and to go home to their families.

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