Chickpea & Vegetable Soup
A few nights a week my husband gets back late from work due to volunteering or because it’s gym night. For those nights he prefers a lightish meal. But I know by the time he hits the dinner table, he’s famished as it’s usually a good ten hours since he last ate. So for those nights I try to make something which is fairly low calorie, low carb and nutritionally rich and satisfying. This soup pretty much nails that description. It’s packed with protein rich chickpeas which gives the soup substance and body, and wonderfully vitamin rich vegetables which give great flavour.
One thing about soups and me is that I’m not a fan of overly creamy or spiced soups. I think it defeats the purpose of a dish which is supposed to be healthy, pure and detoxing. I also think soups are about celebrating the natural flavours of the ingredients you are using rather than masking them with lots of spices and herbs. Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook with herbs and spices, but I think the place for that is in curries and stews, not soups. I promise you however, despite the simplicity of this recipe, this soup is full of beautiful flavours and is every bit satisfying.
- • 1 tbsp olive oil
- • 2 white onions, roughly chopped
- • 2 carrots roughly chopped
- • 2 garlic cloves roughly chopped
- • 2 celery sticks roughly chopped
- • 1 white potato roughly chopped
- • 4 tomatoes roughly chopped
- • 1/2 tbsp salt
- • 4 cups water
- • 4 cups cooked chickpeas
- • 2-3 handfuls of spinach
- • black pepper for seasoning
- For the chickpeas I prefer to use dried chickpeas which I soak overnight and then cook in the pressure cooker in the morning just until tender. If you prefer to use tinned chickpeas, these work fine too. Be sure to drain the cooking/ preservation water before using.
- I also like to use the pressure cooker to cook my vegetables for the soup as I find it significantly speeds up the cooking process (by a good 20mins), but this is not necessary if you do not have one. Place oil on medium heat in your cooker or in a deep saucepan.
- Add roughly chopped onions, carrots, celery sticks, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic and salt. Let these cook for a good 6-8mins, allowing the vegetables to colour slightly and the tomatoes to become squidgy and release their juices. Sautéing the vegetables in this way really helps to draw out their natural sweetness and build a much deeper flavour.
- Add the water and stir well. If you’re using a pressure cooker, put the cooker lid on and leave for 20mins. If you’re cooking the soup in saucepan, you will need to allow a further 10-15minutes for the vegetables to cook through and will need to add another cup or two of water.
- Once your vegetables are ready, using an emulsion blender, blitz the vegetables in the cooker/ saucepan until almost smooth.
- Add the cooked chickpeas and a good grind of freshly cracked black pepper. Blitz again, just a few spins of the blade to help beak up some of the chickpeas whilst leaving plenty of whole ones for texture and bite.
- Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper as necessary.
- Before serving I like to add a drizzle of extra virgin oil and some toasted seeds for an omega boost!