Sunday, January 20, 2008

smoky chickpea soup

so it's been just over a year since the worm snaked its way into the world, leaving a new, not necessarily improved, internal topography in her wake. i kinda figured that, at one year, there would be a transition back to "normal" life. well, a year has come and gone. and i'm still waiting. somehow i think it may be a long, long wait. but because it's important that we harbor fantasies of what riches the future may bring, my next false hope is that preschool will be the panacea, returning life back to "more normal". having an only slightly below average IQ, i have a sneaking suspicion that this too will prove to be a lie and the only thing that will change is that i will wake up a year from now sporting slightly worse breath and a few more creaks in the old, worn out joints.

so life will never return to the old way. i suppose that's ultimately a good thing. change is better than stagnation. i suppose a more realistic way to look at it is that i've traded up. up from a squalling, helpless, neck-cheese-rot stinking miniature quadriplegic to a teeth baring, screeching, raging monkey. i suppose we could call that progress.

anyway, all this is just a long-winded way of saying that i'm back. since a genie will not pop out of my empty bottle of makers mark as i lovingly caress it's golden belly and with a wave of its hand restore to me "free" time, i guess i'm going to have to grab the bull by it's rocky mountain oysters and demand it. or at least do a little blogging in between man-sized swigs of bourbon.

i picked up this recipe from our local rag. i didn't expect much but had a bunch of leftover homemade chickpeas loitering in the refrigerator and have been on a smoked paprika kick lately, so, i thought, why not? and it was edible. it was, in fact, delicious. super easy, super healthy, smoky, creamy and delicious. what else could i ask for, other than a live-in nanny?

Smoky Chickpea Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon saffron (i forgot to use this but it tasted great anyway)
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
5 cups vegetable broth
2 cans (15 ounces each) chickpeas, drained (or, if possible, about 3 cups homemade)
salt, to taste
olive oil

cook carrots, onion and celery in olive oil until soft but not browned. add garlic, saffron, cumin and smoked paprika, and cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly. add broth and chickpeas. adjust seasonings. simmer for about 30 minutes then puree until smooth. this might be pretty served with a fine sprinkling of sweet paprika and a swirl of olive oil.
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