Wednesday, January 31, 2007

chickpea and tomato soup

deborah madison, who else?

rich, tangy, sweet, hearty and steaming hot, i love this soup. comfort in a ladle. and if there is anything i'm craving these days, it's comfort. i'm sure that once the screaming diaper machine arrives i will look back upon on these small-bladder-big-gut days with a nostalgic yearning. but the sleep depriver does not seem to be ready yet. it is too busy copping a free-ride and practicing amateur karate moves in the rent-free security of my poor distended entrails, probably sharpening the edges of it's ever expanding cranium into a perfect, four pointed square. this whole freaky science experiment is almost over (or is it just about to begin?), and let me tell you that i've remained myself throughout. no starry-eyed, belly-rubbing cooing. no annoying "miracle" talk. no bouts of sentimental weeping. none of it. no siree. knocked up, undeniably. hormonally demented, thankfully no.

i've not been posting very much because somehow food has just not been as, um, seductive to me as it usually is. energy is being drained from the host to sustain the alien within and, what with the flames of hell leaping up my throat at the mere sight of a bottle of hot sauce, well, eating just doesn't seem to be half the fun it used to be.

but this soup. this is something good. a nutrient and fiber filled meal in a bowl that only tastes better the longer it lingers in the refrigerator. it is just what the doctor ordered. the recipe calls for lentil or ful. i had neither so i omitted them. very tasty anyway.

spicy chickpea and tomato soup
olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon freshly toasted and ground cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
2 carrots, chopped
1 celery rib, diced
1 cup diced winter squash (butternut, etc.)
2 Tablespoons each chopped parsley and cilantro
1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained
1 15 oz. can ful medames or 1 cup cooked lentils
1 cup skinny noodles, cooked in salted water and drained

slowly saute the diced onion and spices in a lightly oiled soup pot (i usually do this bit in a non-sticky frying pan) and cook until softened. add the rest of the vegetables and continue to cook for about 10 minutes. at this point you can transfer the vegetable into a soup pot with the tomatoes (and the juices), chickpeas, ful/lentils and enough water to thin the soup out a bit. depending on whether the tomatoes came in a tomato sauce or thinner juice base, you may need more/less water. because my tomatoes were canned in sauce, i added 4-5 cups water to get it to a consistency to my liking. simmer for at least 20-30 minutes and season with salt and pepper. at the end add in the cooked noodles, parsley/cilantro and adjust seasonings to taste.
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