As you can imagine I am not genius about following recipes to the letter, but the latest Smitten Kitchen entry is a carrot soup with tahini and, in lieu of croutons, oven-roasted crisp chick peas.
I'm a bit overdosed on chick peas, so I omitted them, and I had both carrots and parsnips to use up as well as half a carton of vegetable broth that had been in the refrigerator for a suspiciously long time. So I sauteed two big onions in olive oil, added the peeled and chopped root vegetables when the onions were soft, seasoned with a palm-full of cumin seeds, lemon pepper, Trader Joe's smoke blend, and ground black pepper, and poured in the vegetable broth. Well, then I got a phone call and the whole thing got burned on the bottom, so I added some water and fan-wanked it as "wok hai." Then, when the vegetables were soft, I added a tablespoon of tahini. (Cut for length)
I hardly ever use the regular blender for soups, because it's such a carry-on (and, yes, I did once get soup all over the ceiling, but in an earlier apartment). In fact lots of times I don't even use the immersion blender, I just make a coarse puree with the potato masher. Anyway, carrot + tahini + Middle Eastern flavorings: dee-lish! In fact I might try it with part orange juice and some cinnamon.
Also, for years it's been an article of faith for me that you have to start a batch of bread with white flour, preferably bread flour, because 100% whole grain won't rise past the Hockey Puck level. However, last night I wanted to bake some bread, and thought that I had one container of whole wheat flour and one of white flour in the fridge. Wrong-o! Both whole wheat! And I also had about a cup of rye flour to use up.
I wouldn't say it's the highest rising loaf I ever baked, and the crumb is quite dense, but it's a respectable and very tasty loaf, and absolutely counts as a real loaf and not Ciabatta With Pretensions. Which means lots more whole wheat loaves in 2013, especially because one of the local South Asian stores has a huge sack of "atta" (whole wheat flour) for $9. I'm not sure if it performs exactly like Western whole wheat flour--it might be more like pastry flour--but if it doesn't work out well for loaf bread I can always work on stepping up my Flatbread game. I still have some millet flour so I can take another whack at the yogurt flatbreads that came out pretty well last year.