Pumpkin and chickpea soup
400 g raw pumpkin, peeled
1 can chickpeas or white beans, cooked (260 g net weight)
1/3 cup shelled hemp seeds (or sunflower)
½ teaspoon of dried celery, leeks and parsley
½ teaspoon ground coriander, fenugreek and mustard seeds
Salt and white pepper
1 pinch of Piment d’Espelette
Ghee (or butter) and walnut oil
1 cup ground almonds
2 tablespoons grated parmesan
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons water
1 pinch of pepper
2 pinches of salt
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Peel and cut the pumpkin and carrots into pieces. Dip them in the boiling water along with the chickpeas (or beans), drained. When the water returns to its boil, add the spices. Then, reduce heat and let the vegetables simmer.
Meanwhile, prepare the almond crackers. In a bowl, combine the almonds, parmesan, salt and pepper. Stir well. Bind them with the butter and water. Work the mixture as a cheesecake biscuit layer, aiming to grease and moisten evenly the almonds. When the “pastry” is ready, it makes a steady ball when pressed between your fingers. Transfer the result in a square baking dish (about 20-22 cm). Press and smooth the mixture in order to make a flat almond biscuit, 5-6 mm thick. Precut square biscuits with a knife. Bake at 180°C until the crackers are gently golden (15-20 minutes). Cool completely before splitting them following the precut lines.
In about 20-25 minutes the soup is ready as well. Flavor it with a knob of butter and some walnut oil (off the heat). Add the hemp seeds (you could enhance their flavor by browning them in a dry skillet). Mix the soup in a blender until smooth velouté.
Serve the pumpkin soup hot, sprinkled with hemp seeds and a pinch of Espelette pepper. Garnish with a few almond crackers.