Friday, January 28, 2011

Food Matters: Chickpea & Carrot Soup

I was just reading an article about the 10 WORST, and the 10 BEST foods for you.

On the list of WORST foods were the usual suspects:

- Cold Cuts (processed disgusting deli meat filled w/ preservatives)
- Diet Soda (is soda a food?)
- Canned Soup (must be the high sodium content)
- Margarine (a tablespoon of real butter is not going to kill you!)

On the top of the BEST foods were:

- Sweet Potatoes (coming in at #1, high fiber and high in vitamin C)
- Broccoli (high in antioxidants)
- Mangoes (high in vitamin A and other good stuff)
- Greek Yogurt (pro-biotics)
- and the lowly Garbanzo Bean (chickpeas)

The garbanzo bean is rich in protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.
Hey, I never knew that, I just liked them because they were cute and versatile.
Try them dried, instead of canned, and you will be hooked!

Since I am trying to eat healthier in the new year, I turned to Mark Bittman's new book The Food Matters Cookbook, and looked for recipes using chickpeas.

The carrot chickpea soup sounded great.
He suggests using dried chickpeas because they make a wonderful broth, and he was right. They cook up fairly quickly, in about an hour or so, even quicker, if you soak them for an hour before hand.

The 2nd time I made this soup, I tried it w/ a 15 oz. can of drained chickpeas with very successful results. You be the judge.

Don't forget the almonds on top, this makes the soup even more amazing!

This was delicious!

Chickpea & Carrot Soup w/ Almonds: (adapted from Mark Bittman)

1 cup dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans), soaked for an hour or more (or a 15oz. can of drained garbanzo beans)
2 onions, chopped
1 lb. carrots (4 big ones), peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp Pimenton (Spanish SMOKED paprika)
2 tsp cumin
salt & pepper
5-6 cups of stock (I used 3 cups chicken broth, 2 cups water)
1 cup of orange juice
sliced or chopped almonds for garnish
fresh cilantro for garnish

In a heavy stockpot or Dutch oven, saute the onions, carrots and garlic in olive oil for 10 minutes. Season with salt, cumin, and pimenton the last 30 seconds of cooking.

After the vegetables are softened, add the liquid and the chickpeas to the pot. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. If you are using the dried beans, then simmer for at least an hour until chickpeas are very tender.

If you are using the canned beans, then simmer for 15 minutes so the carrots get soft.

Once your vegetables and beans are cooked, add the cup of orange juice.

Bittman says you can serve this soup pureed & creamy, or rustic style, leaving the vegetables whole.
I pureed half the solids with an immersion blender, then added it back to the pot so it thickened up a bit, while leaving some of the good stuff whole.

Garnish w/ the nuts and parsley and eat and be healthy.


The Japanese Redneck said...

I have to say I like all the bad things you listed and some of the good ones....

I'm still getting use to garbanzo beans.

mil said...

Now, that's a job I would relish... slicing those carrots so perfectly with my trusty knives, plural. Great picture.
Soup sounds great!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

your chick pea soup sounds like a deliciously complex version of a soup I would welcome on a cold winter day.

Dana said...

That is a good top ten list - some of my very fave things (except mango). I love carrot soup and never thought to put chickpeas in there. I buy my chickpeas at Costco since we go through so many of them. My youngest will eat them right out of the can. But I agree, they are much better fresh.

kat said...

Oh wow, how fabulous!

Kate said...

They may be "lowly" but they have always been a favorite of mine! Your soup sounds delightful!

tasteofbeirut said...

soup sounds and looks cheerful and definitely healthy.

Ellen said...


I will definately make this one on one of our Monday "Soup and homemade bread" nights!

denise s said...

Ran out to purchase ingredients and want to make soup now. One question though, Recipe calls for Pimenton. I have this, but it does not say its smoked and it does not smell smoky. Do have smoked sweet paprika. Which should I use?
Love your blog by the way

Stacey Snacks said...

Hi Denise,

It should be SMOKED paprika. I should've specified that, and I will go back and change it.
You want the smokey flavor w/ the cumin and chickpeas, it makes it very Mediterranean tasting, especially w/ the sliced almonds on top.


denise s said...

Thank's Stacey, you did state smoked Pimenton - its my jar that is Pimenton but not smoked.

You also got me in the mood to make my Sunday Gravy tomorrow :)

Jen_from_NJ said...

I am happy to say that I don't eat from the bad list except for occasionally canned soup. Your soup looks fantastic! Yay for garbanzo beans - they are cute!

The Food Hunter said...

chickpeas and carrots sounds like a great combination.