Thursday, August 11, 2011

Chickpeas + Tomatoes = Splendid

I recently bought a giant soup pot. Did I  mention that? I probably did.

So I've been OBSESSED with making soups. Especially because I've also done a lot of reading on nutrition lately and there's just something about eating mashed-up food that's good for your body. Apparently because we rarely chew as much as we should be chewing, our body supposedly misses out on some important digestion shit and therefore we don't get as many nutrients...whether or not that's true, I've been doing a lot more chewing lately because I am easily influenced by 'nutritional experts.' :)

Vegan Yum Yum was one of my favorite blogs for a long time ( And then Miss Lauren came out with a book! My soul was joyous.

Flipping through her soup section, I found a delightfully ORANGE soup. Orange is my favorite color, and while I rarely find orange sauces appetizing (shitty sweet and sour sauce, awkward tomato-y sauces that should be a luscious red) a healthy burst of orange in a soup sounded great.

The soup didn't require a soup pot, which was only mildly disappointing. I like playing with my new toys!

Spicy Tomato Chickpea Soup Pg 180

2 - 3 tbsp vegetable oil, your choice
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 - 3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
1 cup hot water
black pepper, to taste

Firstly, you will heat up your oil in a pan with high sides (I used a wok!) and saute your onions for about 2 - 3 minutes.

Secondly, you will add the garlic, cumin, and chili flakes. Saute for about another minute, stirring frequently.

Thirdly, add the mustard seeds, turmeric, and drained chickpeas. I didn't have turmeric or mustard seeds. So I improvised and added a little curry powder and some cardamom.

Fourthly (4th-ly), you're gonna add your giant can of diced tomatoes to the mix and simmer for about 10 - 15 minutes.

When everything in your wok or giant pan or what-have-you is nice and mushy, you will add all this shit to a blender, plus the hot water and nutritional yeast.

So this was actually a really funny experience for me...Let me introduce you to Mr. Crappy Blender from Hell.

This little fucker never blends ANYTHING. I swear to GOD, it hates the idea of me eating a smoothie after I workout. I'm usually sweaty and gross, then come home to expect to have a coconut water / banana / blueberry smoothie...and I put it all in the blender and Mr. Crappy Blender From Hell just SCREAMS AND SCREAMS and doesn't blend SHIT.

So I, sweaty and gross and pissed off and tired, end up eating a chunky version of a 'smoothie.'  Not smooth at all. Annoying.

I wasn't expecting Mr. CBFH to blend my soup. So I was looking at him and getting preemtpively mad. So here I go, putting my soup stuff in the blender.

So then I press the button to blend this at the highest level and listen to him scream.

And guess what happened?!

I popped off the top of the blender and I took at peek. And it looked like THIS:


Pleased and hungry (because it's lunchtime and I have been playing with chickpeas for the past half hour), I put the soup into a bowl and garnished it with a little black pepper and cilantro.



Deliciousness: 4/5
A warm, soothing soup with the beany texture and taste of chickpeas, plus the sweetness of tomatoes. The spices I used probably changed the entire taste of this soup, but I really liked what I chose. Cardamom is one of my favorite spices right now. :) This was a great, light lunch, and would probably go well with some fresh sweet potato fries. I think next time I'll saute a chopped jalapeno with the onions to give it more of a kick.

Ease of Preparation: 3/5
It's hard to find a healthy vegan recipe that doesn't require a lot of chopping / mincing / etc. All in all, the soup was fairly straightforward to make but did take a few different steps and different tools. Plenty of dishes for a simple soup.

Prettiness: 5/5
BRIGHT ORANGE! The cilantro garnish really gave it a beautiful contrast (orange and green are my favorite colors so I might be biased....hahahah.)

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