Foodbuzz and San Pellegrino please pick me! I interrupt this previously scheduled post to tell you about a very important competition taking place on March 7 in Napa Valley.
San Pellegrino, the sparkly company behind the mineral water that I love (truly, I commented on their Foodbuzz profile the day before the contest was announced!) are hosting the Almost Famous Chef Competition. San Pellegrino is setting the stage for the world’s up and coming culinary stars to show their stuff. And the finals are taking place in Napa. Who will win? I know I want to be front and center to find out. As a Foodbuzz Featured Publisher, I have the opportunity to be chosen to attend and participate in this event. I am extremely interested in up and coming chefs and the newest generation of culinary geniuses and would love to see firsthand who is out there and more importantly TASTE what they are cooking. It would be interesting to see where the latest and greatest are going with their cuisine and what trends will define them . . . or what trends they will start! March also marks the celebration of my 30th birthday, and a chance to participate in the Almost Famous Chef Competition would make my decade! Fingers crossed!!!
Even if you can’t be there, you can follow the competition here: http://www.almostfamouschef.com If you love watching any sort of cooking or food-related show on TV and devour food magazines like I do, you will not want to miss this!
First of all I want to point out that this soup does not involve coconut milk or curry paste, a rarity for me! Fennel seeds are the absolute star of this super simple dish, enhancing the flavor of the other ingredients and just making it taste like something way more special than chickpeas and carrots blended with tomatoes and broth.
2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
3 cups organic vegetable broth
2 cups chopped carrots
1 can whole tomatoes with the liquid
3 cloves garlic
small palm full of fennel seeds
1/4 cup red wine
1 TSP garlic powder
freshly ground black pepper to taste.
I started out by simmering the chickpeas and carrots in the veggie broth, fennel, wine, and garlic until softened, then split the mix into 3 parts. I used the “chop” setting on my food processer for the first batch and tossed in the tomatoes with their juice to get the whole tomatoes down to manageable bites. I put this first batch into a large soup pot. I took the second batch and pureed it until very smooth, then added that to the soup pot as well. The final batch went in whole, and I combined all three of them together to create a soup that was sort of smooth and creamy with satisfying pieces of chickpea and carrot for a little bit of bite.
Its really not very pretty to look at, but it is SO good and filling! I love that slight licorice flavor that the fennel brings to the dish, and the fact that some of the chickpeas were whole and some were pureed really made the dish feel like a meal. I ate it for breakfast and was full all morning!
Today is an exciting day. Not only am I hosting Blogger Secret Ingredient, but I am also the Worker Bee over at On a Lobster Placemat. Check out Rose’s weekly feature to see how I stay fit and healthy!
Please don’t forget about my raffle to raise money for The ALLY Foundation! Each entry is a $10 donation on my fundraising page: http://www.firstgiving.com/meghanmalloyteamally. The prize is a $100 gift card to Williams Sonoma! The ALLY Foundation is doing incredible work protecting us from violent sex offenders, and I am proud to be running the 2010 Boston Marathon for them. Anything that you can donate will help!