What another lovely snowy day it was today. (Okay, so that was a completely sarcastic statement.) Living in lovely Massachusetts means you never know exactly what to expect from the weather around here. So that means the "rain or snow" that we were supposed to get today inevitably ended up being, snow. Wahhhhhhh! (Yes, that is supposed to be said using the Snooki voice) This winter has been an exceptionally rough one for us here and quite frankly, I. am. so. freakin'. sick. of. it! But, apparently mother nature doesn't really care what I think..so she brought on more snow than we expected, again. Lucky for me this is the best kind of day to spend cooking (plus I was also off from work today), so after finishing up at the gym, I had a long day in the kitchen planned. I had quite a few things in mind, but I ended up scrapping a couple ideas for now and decided to add this soup to today's line-up instead. It seemed like the perfect thing to make to accompany a day like today.
After spending a few hours of cooking and cleaning, I decided to take a little break so Dave and I could take Tucker to a local park to run around in the snow. It's a good thing at least one of us likes this weather! As much as I whine about the snow (which is just about every single day), it was a nice way to try to enjoy what we have to deal with. Plus, it was nice to watch Tucker run around and enjoy himself since he's been cooped up inside a lot this winter. After letting him get some energy out and becoming slightly frozen ourselves, we headed back home and I was more than in the mood to dig into this soup. Once we got in, I made some grilled "cheese", heated up the soup, and can say I actually enjoyed this crazy New England weather for once.
Now, a little about the soup. The flavors in this are very warming and comforting, which truly makes this a perfect winter meal. The red pepper and spices really transform this into an aromatic dish that packs a lot of punch to it. Don't be fooled though, this really isn't your typical "light" soup. It's extremely hearty and rich from the pureed chickpeas, which add a lot of body to it. Basically, it's damn good and you should give it a go!
Tucker and me in a little tunnel at the park.
(Don't mind my appearance, I was unshowered post-gym. TMI? Oh well!)
We had found a little broken sled while we were out. Needless to say, despite all of Tucker's muscle mass, I don't quite see him having a future with the Iditarod. And he sure loves wearing his backpack!
Spiced Chickpea Tomato Soup
Serves 4; makes about 6 cups
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 dried hot red chiles, chopped, or 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/8 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups crushed canned tomatoes, with juice
- 1/2 cup drained jarred roasted red peppers, rinsed
- 3 1/2 cups homemade or store-bought vegetable stock
- (Vegan) Sour cream, for serving
- Parsley sprigs, for garnish
Source: Martha Stewart
- Using a mortar and pestle or the back of a spoon, crush garlic, chiles, coriander, salt, and caraway to form a paste.
- Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic mixture, and cook until just softened, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in chickpeas, tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and stock. Simmer, stirring often, for 15 minutes. Let cool slightly.
- Working in batches, puree soup in a blender. Rewarm if necessary. Divide among bowls, and top each with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of parsley.
- Note: To do the "swirl", water down 2 tablespoons (vegan) sour cream with one tablespoon water. Put mixture into a plastic bag, snip the bottom corner and carefully swirl, make a heart, or whatever shapes you please! And, I absolutely adore my little porcelain soup containers in this picture. In case you may be wondering, I got them at Crate & Barrel. Reasonably priced and super cute! You should probably go get some.