Honey Walnut Shrimp

Honey Walnut Shrimp


Shrimp has to be one of my all time favorite foods and I am constantly on the lookout for tasty new shrimp dishes. A while ago I came across a really interesting one for honey and walnut shrimp on Rasa Malaysia . The name drew me in at first as I like both honey and walnuts in addition to the shrimp and then I saw that it also included mayonnaise and sweetened condensed milk. I would never have thought about a honey, mayonnaise and sweetened condensed milk combo for shrimp and I was really intrigued. The fun does not stop there though as the shrimp are deep fried with a crispy cornstarch coating and the walnuts are candied! There was no way that I could pass up on trying this dish even if it did not sound all that healthy. The honey and walnut shrimp were pretty easy to make with the only challenge being the deep frying. I was not really sure what to expect from this flavour combination but it worked out surprisingly well. The savoury mayonnaise and the tart lemon juice balance the sweet honey and condensed milk and they tasted great together. The crispy coating on the prawns added a nice texture and provided a great surface for the sauce to cling to. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

Closet Cooking's Birthday: 2009

Closet Cooking is now 2 years old!

It is times like these that I like to take some time to stop and look back. As I looked through all of my posts over the last year on Closet Cooking I was amazed at all of the tasty food that I have been making. My meals have certainly not been boring since I started food blogging and I have been enjoying them a lot more!

Apricot and White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Apricot and White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies


While looking for food blogging events to take part in I found out that it was going to be National Oatmeal Cookie day on April 30th and that Jennifer of Savor the Thyme was hosting an Oatmeal Cookie Challenge . I hardly needed an excuse to make cookies so I was in! I see oatmeal cookies as a healthier version of chocolate chip cookies and I like the texture that the rolled oats adds; quite possibly making them my favorite type of cookie. I have a huge list of of different flavour combinations of oatmeal cookies that I want to try and on the top of that was apricot and white chocolate oatmeal cookies, though dark chocolate and dried cherry oatmeal cookies were a close second.

The last time I made oatmeal cookies the oats seemed to vanish when they baked so this time I reduced the flour a bit and tripled the amount of rolled oats. The apricot and white chocolate oatmeal cookies turned out great! The cookies smelled so amazingly good while baking and even after. They were nice and moist and chewy on the inside and just slightly crispy on the edges, just the way I like them. My only complaint, and it is a minor one, was that the apricot flavour was a bit to subtle. I think that the next time I make them, and there will be a next time, I will cut the dried apricots into four pieces instead of six making each piece bigger. This time the rolled oats were a lot more visible and the texture they added to the cookies was really nice.

Butter Paneer Masala

Butter Paneer Masala


When I was in Little India (Toronto) picking up the alphonso mangoes at an Indian grocery store I took the opportunity to look for some paneer which I had been unable to find anywhere else. I was in luck as I found some bricks of the harder paneer and I picked some up right away. Over the last while I have been building a small list of recipes that I want to try that include paneer but since I had never been able to find any it just kept growing. The first recipe on my list was a butter paneer masala. The basics of a butter paneer masala seemed to be cubes of paneer that are fried in ghee until golden brown in an onion and tomato gravy with spices and ground cashews that is finished with butter and cream. One of the spices in this dish was garam masala which gave me the chance to use some of the garam masala that I had made a while ago. I decided to try to keep the dish a bit lighter and reduce the amount of butter and I replaced the cream with yogurt.

Many of the recipes that I found for the butter paneer masala called for soaking the paneer in water and I was not sure why until I had finished frying the paneer. The paneer was pretty hard after being fried and soaking it in the water softened it up a bit before adding it to the gravy. Needless to say, I tried some of the paneer before adding it to the gravy to see what it was like and it was just like a firm cheese with a crumbly texture on the inside. The paneer was pretty bland and flavourless but that was ok because it readily soaked up the flavours of the sauce that it was cooked in. The butter paneer masala was pretty straight forward and easy to make and it turned out really well. The onion and tomato gravy with cashews was nice and tasty and creamy with a hint of buttery. The paneer had a texture that I enjoyed and it had soaked up all of the tasty flavour from the sauce. I can't wait to use paneer again and now that I have more of an idea of what paneer is supposed to be I will have to try making my own.

Dorayaki

Dorayaki


I recently realized that I have not been participating in many food blogging events lately and I resolved to fix that. One upcoming event that caught my attention was the My Legume Love Affair event being hosted by Coco Cooks and this months theme was starters and desserts. I immediately thought about Japanese sweets with red bean paste and there were a few that were on my list of things that I wanted to try. At the top of my list was dorayaki which are essentially a pancake sandwich filled with sweet red bean paste. You should be able to find the sweet red bean paste at your local Asian grocery store or you can make your own red bean paste and it is pretty easy. The dorayaki are pretty simple to make as well. It is just a matter of making some pancakes and then sticking them together with the red bean paste in the middle. The dorayaki turned out really well! I don't know what it is about sweet red bean paste but I like it a lot and it went really well sandwiched between these pancakes. I also liked this pancake recipe as they came out nice and light and fluffy and perfectly golden brown.

Mango Maddness

Mangoes have to be my favorite fruit! Mango season 2009 has just started and I have already been cooking up a mango storm. I have been enjoying experimenting with mangoes and I have made some really tasty mango dishes. With my growing collection mango recipes I thought that it was about time to go over them all and collect my favorites and here they are:

Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup

Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup


There hasn't been any fresh local produce so far this year but I am still happy exploring the last of Winters reserves such as sweet potatoes. I have seen a few recipes for sweet potato and peanut soups over the last few weeks that have sounded good. I really like to use peanuts and peanut butter in savoury dishes and I am always on the lookout for new recipes. I saw several different versions of the sweet potato and peanut butter soups ranging from southwestern versions with chilies to Thai versions with curry pastes and coconut milk. Although the Thai version sounded great I wanted to start with a simpler one that really showcased the main ingredients, the sweet potatoes and the peanuts.

I started out by roasting some sweet potatoes until they were nice and caramelized and full of flavour. In the meantime I started making the soup base with the classic combination of onions, carrots, celery and garlic. From there I added a red pepper for some contrasting colour and flavour and I had some leftover chili peppers that went in for a bit of warmth. The final component of course was the peanut butter. The sweet potato and peanut soup was easy to make and it turned out wonderfully. The flavours of this soup were nice and simple and the sweet potato and peanut not only came through but they worked really well together. With the sweet potatoes and the peanut butter in the soup it was nice and thick and creamy. I garnished the soup with some chopped roasted peanuts and they added a really nice contrasting texture. The weather is supposed to be warming up over the next few days and I am looking forward to the coming fresh local produce but in the meantime I am going to be enjoying my sweet potato and peanut soup.

Mango Shrikhand

Mango Shrikhand


With mango season here it was inevitable that I head down to Little India (Toronto) to look for the Alphonso mangoes. Alphonso mangoes are considered by many to be the best variety of mango with regards to sweetness and flavour. Here in Canada the alphonso mangoes are imported directly from India and thus they are a just a little bit expensive. Despite the expense I like to indulge on them while they are in season as they are really good. I was in luck! They had the alphonso mangoes in at both Kohinoor Foods and Cash and Carry and I picked up a case. On my long tram ride back I was thinking about how I was going to enjoy them.

Swordfish Steak with Mango Chutney on Curried Lentils

Swordfish Steak with Mango Chutney on Curried Lentils


When I was at the fish monger on the weekend I noticed that they had some nice looking swordfish steaks and it reminded me that I had not had swordfish in a really long time. I picked some up immediately and I was wondering what to do with them. When I got home I noticed the jars of the mango chutney that I had just made and I thought that the best way to enjoy those perfect looking steaks was to simply grill them, and a bit of mango chutney to liven things up could not hurt. I still had some lentils left that needed to be used and I though that I would continue with the curry theme that the mango chutney had introduced and I decided to make some curried lentils. I wanted a bunch of vegetables in the lentils and I ended up going with the classic three of onions, carrots and celery and I added some raisins for a bit of sweetness.

I am glad that I kept the swordfish steaks nice and simple and just grilled them because they turned out to be the best swordfish steaks that I have ever had. I ended up grilling them for about 2 minutes per side and they turned out just perfectly cooked through. They were still nice and moist and they had an amazing texture and a great flavour all by themselves. I could easily have eaten the steaks plain but the sweet, tangy and spicy mango chutney also went well with them. The curried lentils rounded out the meal nicely. The swordfish steaks were a great find and it is always nice to find new ways to enjoy my homemade mango chutney.

Curried Mango Bread

Curried Mango Bread


One of the good things about the mangoes being out now is that there are no local fruits available and I can spend some time focusing on them. I find that during the summer when the local fruits start becoming available that it is rather like a whirlwind of one after the other or many at the same time and I don't get to fully enjoy any of them to the extent that I might like to. I had been wanting to try making a mango bread for a while and now was the time while it was still cool out and I don't mind having the oven on. For some reason I associate mangos with curries and chutneys and the first thing that I thought about for a mango bread was a curried mango bread. I had made, and enjoyed a curried chocolate chip banana bread a while ago and I was looking forward to trying a curried mango bread.

Steak and Guinness Pie

Steak and Guinness Pie


Last month with St. Patrick's day I saw a lot of beef stew recipes and something else that caught my eye; a beef stew pie. A beef stew pie is pretty much like it sounds, beef stew that is baked in a pie. That's right, beef that is slowly braised until it is fall apart tender and full of flavour that is baked into light and flaky golden brown pastry...mmm... To make things even better the beef can be braised in Guinness. Not to stop there but you can also add some bacon and brown the meat and saute the vegetables in the bacon grease for even more flavour. I knew that I would have to make a steak and guinness pie long before this point but then I came across an adaptation of Jamie Olivers steak and Guinness pie on The Cutting Edge of Ordinary that also included cheddar cheese! I would not have thought to use cheddar cheese to a beef stew pot pie but as soon as I heard it I knew that I had to try it!

Baked Sweet Potato Oatmeal with Pecan Streusel

Baked Sweet Potato Oatmeal with Pecan Streusel


Despite the fact that the days are slowly getting warmer, the mornings are still pretty cool and a bowl of oatmeal still hits the spot for breakfast. I had been wanting to try doing a baked oatmeal for a while and I figured that I should do it now before the morning get too warm. Sweet potatoes are still in good supply and I was thinking about the sweet potato casserole that I had made a while ago and wondering if I could make a baked oatmeal version. I prefer using steel cut oats to rolled oats when making oatmeal but I could not find a recipe for a steel cut oats baked oatmeal. In the end I decided to just modify the rolled oats recipe for the steel cut oats. Steel cut oats require more liquid and more cooking time but you can cut down on the cooking time by soaking the oats overnight which is what I decided to do. I roasted the sweet potatoes in the oven until they were nice and soft and starting to caramelize for added flavour. Maple syrup seemed like a natural addition and keeping with the sweet potato casserole theme I went with a pecan streusel topping. I had to wait to add the streusel topping until the oatmeal had cooked enough that the streusel would not just sink into the oatmeal so I added it part way through the cooking process. The baked sweet potato oatmeal turned out really good! It was nice and warm and sweet and really creamy on the inside with a slightly crisp topping. The sweet potato flavour really came through and of course it worked well with the pecan topping. It was like having dessert for breakfast. In fact, a scoop of melting vanilla ice cream would probably go really well on it.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Mango and Cardamom Jam

Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Mango and Cardamom Jam


I have been enjoying the sweet and savoury combination of grilled cheese sandwiches with jam for a while. With my newly made mango and cardamom jam in hand the first thing that came to mind, after the required display of the jam on toast of course, was a grilled cheese sandwich with mango and cardamom jam. There is just something magical about that melted gooey, savoury, cheese contrasted with a sweet jam all wrapped up in golden brown buttery grilled bread...mmm... The grilled cheese sandwich with mango and cardamom jam met and even exceeded all of my expectations with the addition of the aromatic cardamom lifting it above other grilled cheese and jam sandwiches from the past.

Mango and Cardamom Jam

Mango and Cardamom Jam


I just can't seem to help myself; every time I walk through Chinatown those cases of perfectly ripe mangoes just keep calling to me and I end up walking home with another. I needed to use some more mangoes and the best way that I know to use a lot of fruit in a hurry is to make jam with it. I have made several jams over the last two years starting with single fruit or berry jams and then moving on to two fruit or berry jams. This time I wanted to try adding a spice to a jam. I have been enjoying cardamom lately and cardamom seems to be commonly paired with mangoes so I thought that a mango and cardamom jam would be a good idea. The box of pectin crystals that I normally get did not have a recipe for a mango jam on it so I kind of winged it using the ratios from the other recipes. Luckily it turned out well, thickening nicely but not too much. I left a lot of the pieces of mangoes fairly large as I like chunks of fruit in my jams. The mango and cardamom jam turned out great! It is nice and sweet and just bursting with mango flavour and the cardamom goes really well with mango! I will certainly be enjoying this jam!

Fish a la Spetsiota

Fish a la Spetsiota


I have a new found appreciation for cooking meats in sauces as the sauce helps keep the meat nice and moist and it also infuses the meat with its flavours as it cooks. The meats juices also drip directly into the sauce further enhancing the sauces flavour. It's a win win scenario that results in tons of flavour!

Ham and Lentil Soup

Ham and Lentil Soup


I always like cooking ham and I often find myself thinking that my favorite part is the leftovers; especially that ham bone. Ham bones can be used to either make a nice ham stock or you can just throw the bone right into any number of tasty soups and it adds a ton of flavour as simmers away. This time I was thinking that I don't use lentils often enough and that a ham and lentil soup would be really nice. I don't normally use a recipe for these kinds of soups as they are so easy. After I have decided on the primary ingredients I normally go for the standard onion, carrot and celery combo along with some stock. From there I add a few herbs, fresh or preserved and I like to finish the soups off with a green vegetable, in this case I went with some spinach. The soup is really easy to make and once you are done with all of the chopping you can relax while it simmers and draws out all of the flavours. The ham and lentil soup turned out great! It was nice and tasty and I really enjoyed the texture of the lentils in the soup. I will need to experiment some more with lentil soups.

Mango and Nutella Crepes

Mango and Nutella Crepes


I have been hooked on crepes ever since I first made them. They are easy to make and nice and light and there are just so many great ways to fill them. One of my favorites ways to fill them is with nutella (a chocolate hazelnut spread) and fruit. My normal pairings include bananas or strawberries but I had been wanting to try combining mangoes with nutella for a while. Now that the mangoes were here it was the perfect opportunity to try the new combo out. When making crepes with a nutella (or peanut butter) filling you can go one of two ways; you can fill it right away while the crepes are still warm and let the nutella start to melt or you can let them cool off just enough so that the nutella does not melt. I can never decide which way I like best so I normally end up having two, one each way. The mango and nutella combination worked surprisingly well and the crepes were a great way to start a weekend morning!

Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Mango Chutney

Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Mango Chutney


One of my favorite ways to enjoy mango chutney is in a grilled cheese sandwich and the timing couldn't be better as April is grilled cheese sandwich month. Panini Happy is hosting a grilled cheese pageant to celebrate and I thought that I would share one of my favorite takes on a grilled cheese sandwich. A couple of years ago I would never have thought to use something like mango chutney in a grilled cheese sandwich but then I tried a monte cristo sandwich which is basically a ham and cheese sandwich that is cooked like French toast and commonly served with strawberry jam. I was immediately hooked on the sweet and savoury combo and I have been making grilled cheese sandwiches with jam ever since. Shortly after discovering mango chutney I had the idea of trying a grilled cheese sandwich with it and now the mango chutney grilled cheese sandwich is one of my favorites! The sweet, tangy and spicy mango chutney goes surprisingly well with ooey gooey melted cheese wrapped in perfectly grilled golden brown bread!

Mango Chutney

Mango Chutney


Over the last few weeks the markets have been flooded with mangoes from Mexico. I am particularly fond of mangoes and after a long winter of mostly apples I was really please to see the mangoes and I picked up a lot of them. I may have even picked up too many of them and I needed to use them before they went bad. It was the perfect chance to try another mango chutney recipe.

I first discovered mango chutney in the grocery store a little over a year ago and I really liked it. Since then I have been trying to make my own and I have tried several recipes but I have not been pleased with any of them. After another search on the net I came across this recipe for mango chutney that sounded good. I noticed that this recipe include vinegar and I am pretty sure that vinegar is included in the store bought version that I like so much. I was thinking that the tangy vinegar might have been what was missing from my previous attempts.

This mango chutney turned out great! The flavours were just amazing! The chutney was sweet and tangy and spicy with just the right amount of heat. I now have a new favorite mango chutney!

Apricot Lamb Tagine

Apricot Lamb Tagine


After the pistachio crusted rack of lamb I was thinking about lamb even more. My thoughts naturally came the the Moroccan lamb tagine that I made and enjoyed so much last year. This lamb tagine uses a wonderful blend of Moroccan spices to season the meat before it is braised until it is nice and fall apart tender. Near the end of the cooking some dried fruits and honey are added for a bit of sweetness and some harissa is added for some chili heat. The combination of the flavourful slow braised lamb with the spices and the sweet dried fruit and the warmth is simply amazing and I was salivating at the thought of making it again this year. This time I changed things up just a little. The last time that I made this I used various dried fruits and I chopped them up so that they melted into the sauce. This year I decided to focus on apricots and I left them whole to add a nice change in texture and bursts of apricot flavour to the stew. I also decided to drop the carrots in favour of having the vegetables on the side.

This years apricot lamb tagine easily lived up to my memories of last years and I was thoroughly satisfied! The lamb was perfectly fall apart tender and oh so tasty. All of the flavours in the pot had plenty of time to mingle and get to know each other over the hours of simmering and the lamb was infused with the wonderful results. Despite the strong flavours in the sauce the taste of the lamb still came through and it really works well in this dish. Of course I served the lamb tagine on a bed of light and fluffy whole wheat couscous and I garnished it with some chopped cilantro and pistachios.

I hope everyone has a great Easter!

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

King Ranch Chicken Casserole


My collection of shredded chicken, from leftover roasted chickens, was growing and I wanted to use some of it to clear some space in my freezer. (Ice cream season is coming and I will need that space!) After searching around for a while I came across the concept of a king ranch chicken casserole which sounded really good. A chicken ranch casserole seems to be a creamy chicken casserole with texmex flavours that is layered like a lasagna using corn tortillas. I had been thinking about doing something with a creamy poblano sauce for a while and this seemed like the perfect time to.

Most of the recipes that I came across called for canned creamed soups to form the base of the sauce but I was determined to do it without them. I started by sauteing the vegetables in more butter than I would normally use so that I could sprinkle in some flour to form a roux and thicken the chicken stock. I finished the creamy part of the casserole off with some milk and sour cream for a bit of tanginess. For the texmex flavours, I used those poblano peppers and some jalapeno peppers, canned chopped green chilies, chipotle chili powder, cumin, oregano and cilantro. With all of the chili heat in the dish I thought that some corn would go well to take the edge off. Of course it is really hard to not top off a texmex dish like this with some ooey gooey melted cheese.

The king ranch chicken casserole was easy to make and it was super tasty! I over filled my baking dish and some of the sauce bubbled over. Luckily I always bake things like this on a baking sheet so I was saved from having to clean up a big mess in the oven. The chicken casserole was nice and creamy and cheesy and good! This dish is packed with so many of the texmex flavours that I like so much and it sure is a winner in my books. I am looking forward to enjoying the leftovers for lunches over the next few days.

Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb with a Pomegranate Port Sauce

Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb


With Easter quickly approaching, I have been keeping an eye out for ideas for a nice holiday dinner. Over the last few years I have been associating lamb with Easter and when I saw this recipe for a pistachio crusted rack of lamb it definitely caught my attention. I had been wanting to try cooking a rack of lamb for a while and I really liked the sound of a pistachio crust held on by a tangy mustard and mint paste. While looking for recipes for lamb dishes I came across one that included a pomegranate port sauce which sounded good and since the meal already had some Mediterranean flavours in it I thought that the sauce would be a nice addition. It was actually pretty easy cooking the rack of lamb and it turned out great! There is not much meat on a rack of lamb so it cooks up fast and I got it out of the oven just in time to keep it a nice medium rare. After letting the rack rest for a while I cut between the bones to get individual slices. After placing the lamb on the plate I drizzled some of the pomegranate sauce beside it. The lamb was nice and tender and the slightly crunchy pistachio crust was nice and tasty. The pistachios, lemon, mustard and mint worked well together and the pomegranate sauce added a nice finishing touch. Another great lamb dish for the recipe collection!

Sweet Potato Pie Pancakes

Sweet Potato Pie Pancakes


After the success of the pumpkin pie pancakes that I made a while ago I was thinking that sweet potato pie pancakes would also be good. The basic idea was a pancake with all of the flavours of a sweet potato pie or a sweet potato casserole . I pretty much just took my basic pancake recipe with some of the flour replaced with whole wheat flour and added some pureed sweet potato long with some spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. For the sweet potato puree, you just need to cook a sweet potato until it is nice and soft and mash it up. I like to slow roast sweet potatoes as they caramelize and that adds a ton of flavour. The Sweet potato pie pancakes turned out great! They were nice and light and fluffy and moist and good. I really enjoyed the sweet potato flavour in the pancakes. I served the sweet potato pancakes with maple syrup, toasted pecans and topped them off with a slice of melting butter. It is always fun transforming your favorite deserts into breakfasts!

Jalapeno Poppers

Jalapeno Poppers


Recently I made a jalapeno popper dip that I really enjoyed and I was craving more. This time though I was thinking that making actual jalapeno poppers was the way to go. In theory jalapeno poppers sound pretty easy; just stuff some jalapenos with cheese, bread them and fry them. I have had jalapeno poppers before where the jalapenos were still crispy and barely even cooked and I wanted mine to be soft and fully cooked so I decided to roast them up a bit first. After roasting the jalapenos I removed the loose skin to ensure that it did not interfere with the texture of the poppers. The soft roasted jalapenos were much more difficult to work with but it was well worth the extra effort. The jalapeno poppers turned out great! They were nice and crispy and golden brown on the outside and soft and warm and gooey on the inside with just the right amount of chili heat! I used a combination of cream cheese and cheddar cheese stuffing in the jalapeno poppers and the cheese melted nicely when the poppers were fried. Roasting the jalapeno peppers was the way to go as it added a ton of flavour to the poppers. The only problem was that the poppers disappeared much to quickly and now I need to make some more.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Chickpea Wheatberry Salad

Roasted Butternut Squash and Chickpea Wheatberry Salad


This roasted butternut squash and chickpea salad with tahini dressing has been making its way around the food blogging sphere over the last few months and it has been on my to try list for a while. I figured I had better try to make it soon or else file it away for next year. Luckily I was able to find a small butternut squash and I was all set to make the salad. I pretty much used the recipe as it was though I took the opportunity to try adding a new whole grain that I had wanted to try, wheatberries. Wheat berry is simply wheat that is less processed and has had less removed. The roasted butternut squash and chickpea wheatberry salad turned out quite well. Sweet roasted butternut squash is great all by itself but the creamy and tangy tahini dressing worked really well with it and with the rest of the salad. I enjoyed the nice chewy texture that the wheatberries added to the salad and I am looking forward to using them again. The salad good both still warm from the squash and wheatberries being cooked and chilled from the fridge.

Chicken Giouvetsi

Chicken Giouvetsi


I was craving some good home style comfort food and one of the top recipes in my bookmarks was this one for chicken giouvetsi from Kalofagas . Giouvetsi is a one pot Greek dish where the meat is baked along with the pasta. The recipe for giouvetsi is quite simple and I realized immediately that the secret was that while the meat is cooking its juices drip right into the pasta where its flavours are absorbed. I really like one pot meals like this because they generally required very little preparation and then you can relax while the whole meal cooks all at once. For the pasta I used some whole wheat orzo to make it a touch healthier. The chicken giouvetsi was pretty easy to make and the hardest part was quartering the whole chicken though you could easily just use chicken legs and or breasts to save some time. The simple sounding recipe really belies the amazing flavour of this dish! While baking, all of the flavours have plenty of time to mingle and become good friends and every bite right down to the last piece of orzo on the plate was tasty and full of flavour. For even more flavour feel free to garnish the meal with some grated kefalotyri or pecorino romano cheese.

Black Bean and Roasted Pepper Soup

Black Bean and Roasted Pepper Soup


I still had a bunch of roasted red peppers in my freezer and I was thinking that it would be nice to get another hearty soup in before the weather warmed up too much more. I had been enjoying bean soups over the winter and I thought that a black bean and roasted pepper soup would be nice. Continuing on with the roasted peppers theme I added some roasted poblano peppers for their amazing flavour and a bit of heat. For even more heat and a bit of smokiness I threw in some chipotle chili powder. To finish of the base of the soup I added some diced tomatoes and some herbs and spices. I like the sweetness that corn adds to spicy Texmex dishes and corn goes well with the creamy black beans so I threw some in as well. The black bean and roasted pepper soup came together quickly and easily and it tasted great! I really enjoyed the flavour combinations and the spicy kick. I garnished the soup with some avocado, sour cream and cilantro.