Smoky Southwestern Hummus

by Gena on February 21, 2011

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Thank you, all, for the warm fuzzy responses to my post about Friday night rituals, and I’m glad you liked the soup!

Of course, the ugly downside of my joyous Friday night reunion dinners with M are the late Sunday or early Monday partings. Anyone who’s been in a distance relationship, I’m sure, can sympathize with this terrible melancholy. So, as I study calculus and fight off the Monday blues, I’m going to cheer myself (and anyone else who needs a lift) up with a new recipe. A new hummus recipe. Who doesn’t feel better just thinking about hummus?

I think we can all agree that the most exciting recipe I’ve shared recently was my sweet potato hummus, which I can’t stop eating, and a lot of you can’t stop making. I’m so glad you like it as much as I do! That recipe was really only one of the many different kinds of spins I like to put on hummus: I’ve got a peanut sesame variety, a red pepper, a sundried tomato basil hummus, my zucchini hummus, and even an uber-healthy broccoli hummus. There’s really no shortage of ways you can flavor hummus, or add nutrient density to it, which is why it’s one of my favorite foods.

The following hummus came together on a whim: I meant to whip up a regular batch this weekend at M’s place, and then my eye fell upon the bottle of liquid smoke we had sitting in the pantry. For those of you who’ve never heard of it, Liquid Smoke is a flavoring made from passing smoke through water. It adds smokiness to recipes without adding bacon or smoked meat, which how one would usually achieve that (for example, adding ham or bacon to a smoky lentil soup). For this reason, it’s a great kitchen trick for vegans; I’ve added it to many a soup and stew, to chili recipes, and even to various salad dressings. It’s potent, so you have to have a light hand with it, but if you do happen to like the taste, it’s invaluable.

It really hadn’t occurred to me to put it in hummus before, but for whatever reason, Saturday was the day to try it. I paired it with some like-minded flavorings—chili powder, a dash of cumin, and lime juice—and voila! A slightly south-of-the-border hummus recipe that recalls smokiness without also recalling the horrors of a smokehouse. Here’s to vegan culinary triumphs!

Up in Smoke Hummus (Vegan, Gluten Free, Soy Free)

Serves 3-4

1 can chickpeas (15 oz), 1-2 tbsp canning juice reserved
1/4 cup tahini
A few drops liquid smoke (begin with just a few and use more if you want more smoke flavor)
Juice of 1 large or 2 small limes
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
Dash cayenne pepper

1) Place chickpeas in a food processor. If you want, heat them first, according to my chickpea heating instructions in the sweet potato hummus post!

2) Add tahini, a little bit (1-2 tbsp) of the canning juice that the chickpeas came in, and the lime juice. Process until smooth and creamy.

3) Add liquid smoke, salt, chili powder, cumin, and a tiny dash cayenne. Blend again, and re-season to taste if need be.

4) Freak out about how delicious this is.

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Thick, creamy, smoky, and salty, this hummus would work amazingly well on wraps with other southwestern flavors (for example, I can envision an amazing tempeh bacon and up-in-smoke hummus wrap), with grilled veggies, with barbeque tofu, or with a big raw salad and guac. I can’t wait to make it again and smoosh it over greens along with some of my smoky guacamole—what a wonderful meal that will be!

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Curious about those chips? I thought you might be Smile

They’re my new all natural yukon gold potato chips, and they happen to be perfect for dipping into your Up in Smoke Hummus. But I’m afraid I’m going to hold you all in suspense for just a little bit longer about these incredible little snacks—recipe to come!

See you tomorrow!


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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

alldaynatural February 21, 2011 at 12:25 pm

I have been looking for a party food to serve to groups. Never thought about adding liquid smoke to hummus…I can’t WAIT to try this!


Carrie (Moves 'N Munchies) February 21, 2011 at 12:46 pm

BRILLIANT idea to put liquid smoke in this!!!!!


Alayna @ Thyme Bombe February 21, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Really cool idea. There are so many permutations of hummus out there and this is one I’ve never heard of and could never dream up!


zoe (and the beatles) February 21, 2011 at 1:02 pm

hummus always makes me feel better :)! this recipe looks delicious!!! i’ve never used liquid smoke before but this certainly gives me a great reason to try it out!


JL goes Vegan February 21, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Great idea to use liquid smoke! It’s such a crazy flavor, but I really like it. Anxious to see that chip recipe…


VeggieGirl February 21, 2011 at 1:08 pm

YOWZA that sounds amazing.


Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg February 21, 2011 at 1:27 pm

I can’t get enough hummus varieties– love the addition of liquid smoke to this one!


sofia February 21, 2011 at 1:36 pm

i’ve never actually used liquid smoke in a recipe, but i am intrigued. i’ll have to give this a try!


Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama February 21, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Where do you get liquid smoke? As in which section of the grocery store? I looked for it one time but didn’t even know where to look. I started with the spices–no go. Maybe my store just doesn’t carry it. Anyway, all this rambling for one simple question. :-)


Elizabeth@The Sweet Life February 21, 2011 at 2:11 pm

I always wondered what Liquid Smoke was! How intriguing.


Jeremy Logsdon February 21, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Looks really good. I’m thinking I would maybe like a flavor like that on a baked potato.


Allison February 21, 2011 at 2:28 pm

I have an unopened jar of liquid smoke thats been in my cabinet for awhile and now i have a reason to use it:):) Now all i need is a bag of chickpeas (i always by dried instead of the can) and some time to soak them!


Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) February 21, 2011 at 3:10 pm

I have never been a big fan of “smoked” foods but I know when someone loves them, they REALLY love them! Your recipe would please a smoke lover, big time! A can of chickpeas, a dash of a few seasonings and liquid smoke…I know they would think it’s a far more “complicated” recipe than meets the eye…I think I need to impress my hubs with this one. He’s a big fan of smoked foods!

The chips..can’t wait to see what you did with those. Oven vs. dehyd, type of oil (or not), flipping or not…so many ways to make chips, so little time :)

Have a great week!


Wendy (Healthy Girl's Kitchen) February 21, 2011 at 3:17 pm

How FUN! Gotta get me some liquid smoke! Do you think they sell it at Whole Foods?


Lauren February 21, 2011 at 3:18 pm

I love hummus and now I am craving it, thank you food twin! Hehe!


Ela February 21, 2011 at 3:20 pm

I love liquid smoke: it’s so much fun to use. I just made some baked beans the other day and put in a little–it was scrumptious.

Smoky hummus is so close to another Mediterranean favorite: smoky eggplant dip (I only know its name in Hebrew, but it’s pretty similar to baba ghanoush). It’s almost the same as hummus, with tahini and lemon and olive oil, but the ‘vehicle’ is flame-roasted eggplant and it is just delightful.


bitt February 21, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Guess who totally falls for the liquid smoke being meaty scented? My dogs. We have used it to flavor their food and biscuits a lot. So much so that I kind of burned out on the smell for awhile. But I do love smokey stuff typically.

Your comment about Monday partings reminded me of when Chris and I were dating long distance. One Monday I cried so hard he took a week off school and stayed with me. I knew he was a keeper then.


Christin@purplebirdblog February 21, 2011 at 3:42 pm

I may try to recreate something similar to this but using smoked paprika… I added that to some split pea soup I made a while back, and it was quite reminiscent of split pea soup I’ve had in the past made with ham, I loved it!! I made a chipotle tomato hummus yesterday that is also phenomenal! Hummus is such a fun medium to work with!


victoria February 21, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Hey Gena,

I also live in NYC. And I’m just sending this message to ask you where do you purchase your liquid smoke?

I have no clue where to buy some! LoL.


Mindy February 21, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Victoria, you can find Liquid Smoke in the condiment section in many grocery stores, along with ketchup and bbq sauce etc. I got mine in a Whole Foods, but I’ve also seen it in Wal-Mart and other groceries since then.


Sarah (Flavoropolis) February 21, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Awesome idea, sounds great! You can never have too many hummus recipes!


Mindy February 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm

Boy oh boy, this looks awesome.

I’m sure Gena will respond, but to Victoria above, you can find liquid smoke with other condiments like ketchup and bbq sauce in many groceries. I got mine at Whole Foods, but I’ve also seen it in Wal-Mart.

Gena, I may hold my breath till you share your recipe for those Yukon Gold chips. :) If you take too long, you may here about the demise of some strange woman in Louisiana who left behind a note about chips :D. Thanks Gena.


Hannah February 21, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Gah! I haven’t been able to find Liquid Smoke anywhere in Canberra (Asutralia), which is awful because I love smoky flavours! If I ever find it, I’m making this straight away. Until then, I’ll have t keep relying on smoked paprika.


Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day February 21, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Yum! I make Chipotle Hummus.. I just love the smoky goondess .. hummus is sooo good. Can’t wait to hear more about those chips.


Randi February 21, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Another recipe persuading me to finally buy Liquid Smoke. I really should, shouldn’t I…

Also Gena, stay strong with the long-distance! You can do it! And it could be worse (*cough*Philly to London*cough*).


Theresa @ that healthy stuff February 21, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Gena – thanks for describing what liquid smoke actually is!! I have always been totally clueless! That is one thing that I just started on my blog was a dictionary for all of the uncommon raw/vegan food items! When I first switched to this diet it was like learning a whole new language! So thanks for the description!


Namaste Gurl February 22, 2011 at 12:36 am

I need to get on the liquid smoke bandwagon!


Abigail @ Good to Think and Eat February 22, 2011 at 1:01 am

Oh man, saying goodbye when you’re in a long distance relationship is the hardest. It really wrecks the day. I used to date a boy who lived far far away and after our weekend visits, when I was finally alone, I’d play the Weepies album “Say I Am You” and be glum. It was the worst.

Do you have a goodbye ritual?


Gena February 25, 2011 at 2:52 pm

What a sweet comment. We don’t. I usually leave at the crack of dawn and just find a way to get close to him for a few minutes without waking him up.

Then I weep on Boltbus for a few hours. It sucks.


Casey February 22, 2011 at 3:56 am

Hummus is so versatile. I think that’s why it is so loved the world round.

Looking forward to your chips recipe. I make all sorts of veggie chips by slicing the veg finely and then dry baking. SO good!


Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn February 22, 2011 at 10:58 am

I’ve never tried liquid smoke, but it’s about time I did! Smoky flavor is my fave! Slash anything that says hummus is an instant favorite of mine:)


melissa February 22, 2011 at 1:03 pm

looks amazing. And I have all the ingredients on hand!


Stephanie February 22, 2011 at 1:23 pm

O yum this looks delicious! I have never used liquid smoke before but now I’m going to have to go out and buy some!


Valerie @ City|Life|Eats February 22, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Oh My Hummus (I like hummus better than gravy anyways). This looks scrummy.

As we have discussed, long-distance relationships do bring that Sunday/Monday melancholy. No fun :(


Ashley February 22, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Is it bad that I’ve never tried liquid smoke!? :) I definitely would like it, as I’m completely addicted to smoked paprika. This sounds fantastic G! I’m still behind on your recipes though and need to try the sweet tater hummus for sure!


Melisser February 22, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Damn, sounds good to me! I think I need to make this.


elise February 23, 2011 at 1:28 am

two things:
1) i need to meet m. i can feel the love through your writing. gah. it makes me crazy giddy for you. it’s almost like i have my own school girl crush…but vicariously through you…or something like hat, haha.
2) i need liquid smoke. stat.


Michelle February 23, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Yum! That sounds awesome. I am putting liquid smoke on my grocery list right now. I can’t wait to make this!


Sierra February 27, 2011 at 10:49 am

Wow! I was a bit skeptical about smokey hummus, but it is amazing- about half of it went straight from food processor to my mouth. Thanks for the great recipe; this will be made weekly!


Nathalie January 3, 2012 at 2:50 pm

This was deeeeeeelish! I think I actually like it better than your sweet potato hummus, which is saying a lot :)


Justme June 3, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Liquid smoke is usually in the same aisle/section as the bottled sauces, like Worcestershire. Be careful when you use it because a little goes a LONG way. Just a couple of drops is all you need, even when you’re using it in a big pot of stew, so be very careful.


Justme June 3, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Also, another thing I’m wondering; This recipe looks delicious but where I live I doubt I’ll be able to get tahini. (I’ve never heard of it before.) I hope it’s optional. I plan on trying it without it. I think it will still be good.


Emma August 27, 2012 at 3:43 pm

I made this for a party yesterday with black beans instead of the garbanzos and it was a HIT!! I have started calling it bacon hummus because the smoky flavor reminds me of bacon….. yum! :)


Sam (the Quantum Vegan) June 6, 2013 at 9:56 am

This continues to be one of my favorite hummus recipes EVER. I love putting it on salads and dipping veggies in it. Back in January, I brought a batch to an open house at my local Toastmasters group and it went over so well that I had people requesting the recipe. Thanks for this one! :)


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