Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Chickpea Soup with Red Pepper Puree

Our pantry is stock-piled with so many canned products, you’d think we were hoarders! It’s a habit we’ve developed from living in an area where seasons are labeled ‘dry’ and ‘hurricane’, lasting from June 1st through November 30th. We have to keep non-perishables (and a hand-can opener) available just in case the electricity goes out for a long period of time.
We try to keep an accurate inventory list, and use products in the order in which they were purchased. The culinary motto for this is: “First in; First out”.  

The dry season is finally here, so it’s time to use up what we’ve purchased over the past 6 months.
Realizing there was an overload of canned chickpeas, I browsed through some of my cookbooks for a recipe requiring a lot of chickpeas. Happily, I found a soup recipe in an old cookbook, which I adapted to suit our palates.

The soup is colorful, full of flavor and healthy. Serve with crusty bread and crisp salad for a hearty meal that will bring a smile to your face!
Chickpea Soup with Red Pepper Puree
Chickpea Soup with Red Pepper Puree
Yield: 4 to 5 servings

1 (7 oz.) jar roasted red peppers, drained
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 tsp. lemon juice
¼ to ½ tsp. Aleppo red pepper
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, chopped
½ tsp. ground ginger, or to taste
¼ tsp. cumin, or to taste
Dash of salt
2 (15-oz.) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 (14 ½ oz.) cans chicken or vegetable broth
2 Tbsp. tomato paste

 For the Puree:

Red Pepper Puree
1. Using a blender or food processor, combine the roasted peppers, 2 to 3 Tbsp. water, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, lemon juice, and Aleppo red pepper. Puree until smooth; pour into a serving bowl and set aside.
For the Soup:

2. In a large saucepan, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Sautė the onion and carrots with the ginger, cumin, and dash of salt until onion and carrots begin to soften, about 4 to 5 minutes.
3. Stir in the chickpeas, the broth, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until onions and carrots are tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove about 1 cup of chickpeas, onions and carrots and set aside.

4. Place the remaining soup into the blender, food processor, or use an immersion blender, and puree. Return soup to saucepan with the reserved chickpeas, onions and carrots; adjust seasoning, if necessary. Heat through.
5. To serve: Place soup into individual bowls, drizzle with Red Pepper Puree.

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