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Jenise

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RCP Fenugreek, chick pea and noodle soup

by Jenise » Sat Apr 22, 2006 4:40 pm

Early this morning I read Robin's note about the garbanzo pancake. And then I read through the newest Food & Wine (I didn't subscribe, but all of a sudden they're sending me their mags gratis) which mentioned Vietnames pho, and all of a sudden I was hungry for a brothy soup.

Into the kitchen I went, and pulled some extra strong chicken broth I'd made out of th freezer. That went into a pan to thaw. On top of that went a can of drained garbanzo beans and eventually some pasta, chopped parsley and chopped chives. Some grated parmesan enriched the soup. And though at that moment it tasted perfectly wonderful, out of the corner of my eye I spied that bag of Persian Fenugreek leaves I brought back from L.A. I scooped a little soup into a cup and added a tiny pinch of the herb. WOW!

This herb has a flavor that's quite unlike anything I've ever experienced. This sounds strange for a green herb, but it adds an aroma and flavor that's kind of corn/caramelly. It reminds me of what parsley-flavored Maggi seasoning would taste like, if that existed. And it's strong: an hour and a hand washing later, my right hand still smells of two pinches of the herb I rubbed in its palm. It gave the soup a perfect and attractive other worldliness that, while not tasting like any other food in our little universe, was not so exotic that it took any getting used to. It was immediately wonderful.

I can't wait to do more cooking with this wonderful new herb.

In the meantime, here's the recipe for the soup.

Serves two meal-portion bowls, ready in about 20 minutes.

2 cups strong chicken broth
1 14 oz can garbanzo beans, drained
3/4 cup small pasta (I used skillet-browned acini pepe and short broken lengths of spaghetti
About 3 Tblps fresh grated parmesan reggiano
About 3 tblsp chopped fresh chives and parsley
a few cranks black pepper
1 Tblsp good EVOO
2 healthy pinches of dried fenugreek leaves

In a saucepan, bring the broth and the beans to a light rolling boil. Simmer about five minutes then add the pasta, herbs, EVOO and cheese. Stir often. When the pasta's al dente, add the fenugreek and black pepper. Simmer another minute to meld the flavors, then serve.
Last edited by Jenise on Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Paul Winalski

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Re: Fenugreek leaves

by Paul Winalski » Sun Apr 23, 2006 12:02 pm

That sort of caramel quality is what I associate with fenugreek seed.

-Paul W.
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Bill Spohn

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Re: Fenugreek leaves

by Bill Spohn » Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:15 pm

I only use fenugreek in vegie or fish curries. The soup sounds likeanother great way to use it.
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Jenise

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Re: Fenugreek leaves

by Jenise » Mon Apr 24, 2006 12:38 pm

To Paul:

So the seed has that similarity? I wouldn't neccessarily expect that: think coriander seed and cilantro.

Btw, have to mention that there was like half a cup of that soup leftover from Saturday, and I nuked it for a snack while making breakfast yesterday morning. About seven hours alter we returned from doing a day's errands, and I could smell the fenugreek the second I opened the front door. Really powerful stuff.

To Bill:

Tell me more about the kind of fish dishes you use it in.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Bill Spohn

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Re: Fenugreek leaves

by Bill Spohn » Mon Apr 24, 2006 1:01 pm

Jenise wrote:To Bill:

Tell me more about the kind of fish dishes you use it in.


I have only used it in curries. A strongly flavoured fish sometimes needs something like this to offset the flavours, but be careful - you can easily overdo it, just as I find many people use too much tarragon.

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