I can’t believe that a year ago this weekend, I was already biking to-from Toronto and Kitchener (120 km, one-way). While I am planning to cycle to/from Toronto and Niagara Falls in June (160 km, one-way), our fall-back is a shorter course that leaves from Burlington (90 km).
With so many things happening this spring (moving, Colombia, hiking training, etc), it has been hard to dedicate as much time to long-distance cycling. Funnily enough, I have still clocked more kilometers on my bike due to my long daily commutes (780 km already clocked this year). However, nothing beats the long rides on my road bike as true training. Two weekends ago, Rob and I did a short jaunt in the cold for 35 km. True, I cycle that much on a typical day but it is spaced out. But that was enough for me. By the end, my back was sore for some odd reason. One really needs to ease into these long distance trips.
I know I’ve been posting a few recipes highlighting high protein options for typical carb-heavy meals, but my main focus for protein-friendly meals will always be a combination of beans and veggies. Brendan Brazier has always recommended a 3:1 to 4:1 carb-to-protein ratio, preferably a liquid for easiest digestion after recovery from sports. This is easy to get from bean- and veggie-centric soups and stews.
While I didn’t encounter anything like this in Turkey, the recipe for this Turkish red pepper, chickpea and cilantro soup came from Classical Turkish Cooking. I bookmarked it while searching for ideas with celeriac. I really liked how fresh and vibrant this soup was without being heavy. The simple soy milk makes this creamy along with the pureed chickpeas. The red pepper confers sweetness, celeriac a hearty celery background and the parsley/cilantro combo complemented it all really well. It has simple flavours that worked so well together: perfect as a light yet filling soup for the spring. The original recipe suggests pureeing the whole soup and then straining it, but I don’t like pureed soups, so I used my immersion blender to puree it partially. I was able to enjoy the benefits of the texture from the veggies as well as the additional heft from the puree.
This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, to this week’s Weekend Wellness, to this month‘s Simple and in Season, to this month’s My Legume Love Affair, hosted by Priya, to this month’s Bookmarked Recipes, to this week’s Sunday Night Soup Night, and to Cookbooks Sundays.
Turkish Red Pepper, Chickpea and Cilantro Soup (Nohut Corbasi)
Adapted from Classical Turkish Cooking
1 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 large carrot, chopped (1 cup)
2/3 cup celeriac, peeled and cubed
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced (1.5 cups)
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 sprigs parsley, plus more for garnish
4 sprigs cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 cup nondairy milk (I used sweetened soy milk but unsweetened may be better)
salt and pepper, to taste
1. In a large pot over medium heat, heat the oil. Once hot, add the onions, carrot, celeriac,and bell pepper, and saute until tender (but not brown), around 10 minutes.
2. Add the broth, chickpeas, parsley and cilantro. Stir and raise heat to high until boiling. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes until the chickpeas are very tender and the flavours have melded.
3. Use an immersion blender to partially puree the soup, to your desired consistency. Stir in the milk and season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with cilantro and parsley.
Serves 4. (Makes 7 cups)