Tuscan Chickpea Soup for the changing weather (or any time of year!)
As we enter the end of summer, many of us who try to grow our own veg are left with a glut of tomatoes….what to do with them all? I tend to puree them and freeze jars of them so I have them to pull out over the winter. Sometimes I might cook them up with a little garlic so that they are a ready made light sauce.
This is a delicious simple and warming Italian recipe that I learnt when traveling round Tuscany several years ago. The rosemary and garlic are warming, something we need as the weather changes and moves towards a damper period. The tomatoes although cold are balanced out by the warmer veg and herbs, plus they contain wonderful antioxidants like lycopene and the chickpeas full of iron and protein are soothing and will tonify your Qi.
The Italians go for carbohydrate over load with this and add pasta to it, I personally like it just as a smooth soup but if I am trying to turn it into a heartier meal I will add brown rice pasta, as the brown rice and the chickpeas then create a complete protein.
Ps you could use tinned tomatoes but it never yields quite the same results.
Makes enough for 2-3 as a decent bowl of soup, or 4 as a light starter. Serve with a side salad or roasted veggies to make a complete meal.
- 4 tbsp olive oil (cold pressed extra virgin)
- 4-5 cloves of garlic sliced (this depends on the fatness of the garlic and how much garlic you like!)
- 1 sprig of rosemary (you can add more if you like)
- 2 tomatoes (if small add more) preferably a little over ripe, defiantly not under ripe. Chop them roughly.
- 1 tin of organic chickpeas (these tend to have less salt added and less sulphites)
- Salt to taste
- Olive oil to garnish
- (optional: handful of cooked brown rice pasta)
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy based sauce pan (thin bases will burn quickly as they do not conduct the heat so well).
- Add the garlic and the rosemary and stir. You don’t want to colour the garlic, just cook it off gently.
- As soon as the smell starts to rise add the tomatoes, this may splatter a bit so have the lid ready.
- Put the lid on the pan and turn down the heat and leave to cook down for a few minuets. This helps to bring out the flavors of the ingredients.
- Add the chickpeas. If you are cooking them from dry keep the liquor and use in this dish in place of water. If they are from a tin make sure to drain them and rinse them well before adding them.
- Add enough water (or cooking liquor if you have cooked the chickpeas from scratch) to cover the ingredients. You don’t want it to be too wet you can add more water later on if necessary, so just enough for everything to cook well.
- Leave on a low heat simmering with the lid on for 30 min.
- Take off the heat and if you are concerned about boiling liquid then please leave the pan to cool down slightly.
- Pour into a liquidizer (or use a handheld one in the pan) to blitz the ingredients up, this includes the rosemary!! Get it as pureed as possible. I love my vitamix for this, but a nutribullet will do, or any blender you just wont get it quite as smooth but that is ok because….
- Pour the liquidized ingredients into a sieve over a bowl. Using the curve of a ladle push the ingredients through the sieve into the bowl. This will take out any tomato skin, rosemary stalk etc that would make this soup a bit ‘chewy’. If it looks quite thick and heavy you may need to add more water to it.
- You will be left with a smooth creamy chickpea soup. Now to season it! I find this recipe takes quite a bit of salt to get all the flavors to come out, start with a good couple of pinches and keep tasting it. If you add too much, just add a bit more water to balance it out.
- If you have let the soup cool down, reheat it very gently in a pan, making sure to stir it, don’t let it boil. Pour into bowls and drizzle with some olive oil and serve! If you are adding the cooked pasta add it just before putting into to the bowls so it gets well coated.
Kate Waters is a nutritional therapist, health and wellness coach, and chef. As our diet is the root of all health and wellbeing, she combines her knowledge of nutrition and the energetics of food with the human body; using both western scientific nutrition and eastern food philosophies to help her clients achieve the health they desire. Kate also teaches healthy cooking classes that combine delicious recipes with nutritional information about all the ingredients used.