Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chickpea & Almond Soup

I'm not sure what possessed me to make a soup in the middle of an Australian summer. Maybe I was missing my pals in the deep freeze on the other side of the world, maybe I was tired of eating food that didn't require cooking, or maybe I just wanted to make something with saffron in it because it's pretty. Who knows. What I do know is that I was sweating like mad while I was cooking it and sweating just as much when I had a steaming bowl in front of me. Somehow, with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc, it was perfect and simple and elegant despite the 100 degree (Fahrenheit) heat.

This soup is a version of a Mark Bittman recipe from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. I love this book. I know his original book is a staple for a lot of people but I much prefer this one and have a long list stuck in it detailing his innovative meatless recipes I can't wait to make.

I went the easy route with my version and used canned chickpeas rather than dried and added a couple small potatoes because they were sitting on the countertop staring at me. I skipped the onion altogether and upped the garlic ante instead. It played off the almonds, potatoes and chickpeas nicely. The almonds are an unusual addition and I was curious to see how they would behave in soup. M & I both loved it and would make it again. The fact that dinner was on the table in half an hour was just a bonus.

For 4 servings:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1 cup diced yellow potatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the garlic and saute until just golden. Add the almonds, potatoes, saffron and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Saute for a couple minutes more. Add the chickpeas and the stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through. Taste and season with additional salt if needed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like chickpeas a lot but I have never tried it with some almonds in a soup. Really interesting.
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