Not necessarily hummus

Hummus is delicious – but the lovely subtle chickpea lends itself to all sorts of flavor combinations. Nothing could be easier than to whip up a chickpea dip, and it’s a wonderful recipe to have on hand to feed unexpected guests. In the summer, when it’s too hot to cook, or after work, when you just don’t have the time or energy to cook, this makes a nice dinner with some good bread and a good salad. Hummus, french fries and red wine is actually a favorite meal of ours! Store-bought hummus is surprisingly expensive. But a can of chickpeas is very cheap, and dried chickpeas are even cheaper. I tend to use canned – I do for most beans. I like to cook them from dried, but I don’t always decide what I’m going to make early enough to provide for soaking & cooking time. I’ve found that the secret ingredient to making a hummus with a light pleasant consistency is … water! A little bit of water added at the end and blended in really pulls everything together in a surprising way. Yup.

Here’s Hank Mobley’s The Dip, to listen to while you decide what to add to your chickpeas.
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Sweet potato/pumpkin ale soup with chermoula spice

sweet potato pinto bean soup

We got the world’s largest sweet potato this week, from Honey Brook Organic Farm, our local CSA. So I made a soup! The mild sweetness of the sweet potato is offset by sharp, bold flavors modeled on a Moroccan chermoula sauce. I used pumpkin ale, because the slightly sweet/slightly spicy quality went well with everything else. But you could use any type of beer you have on hand. Or a bit of wine. Or even apple cider. And I added pinto beans, which I love because of their wonderful creamy texture when smooshed, and their savory appealing flavor.

As it happens, sweet potatoes have inspired many wonderful songs! Here are a few to listen to while you stir your soup.
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