In my continuing quest for delicious crock pot soups, I chose another recipe from 50 Simple Soups for the Slow Cooker, by Lynn Alley. This week’s soup was a total winner.
It is called Chickpea Soup Arrabbiata. The ingredients are:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
1 pound (2 cups) dried chickpeas
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
7 cups water
1 teaspoon chili flakes
2 bay leaves
1 Parmesan cheese rind, or more if desired
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
4 cloves garlic, or more
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons fresh basil, sliced thinly
I adapted the recipe a little. First, I couldn’t find dried chickpeas. I used canned chickpeas, rinsed them and put them into the crockpot. I then added the carrots and celery.
After sauteing the onion in the olive oil until it was slightly brown (a little less than 10 minutes), I added the onions to the crockpot. Next in were the tomatoes, tomato paste, chili flakes, bay leaves and Parmesan rind. Did you know that you can buy Parmesan rind? I did not, but you can. And it added a lot to the taste of the soup.
The last ingredient in was the water. I used vegetable bouillon instead of plain water.
I turned the crockpot on low for five hours (recipe suggests eight hours if you use dried chickpeas).
After the five hours, I added the oregano (and would have added thyme, but didn’t have any) and the garlic.
I then pulled out (and washed) my immersion blender which I had never used. The recipe suggests pureeing about one-fourth of the soup to thicken it. I stuck the blender in, turned it on and before I knew it, all chickpeas were pureed. I did not realize the strength of that little blender. I was still very happy with the soup and the texture, but I think next time I would leave a few chickpeas intact – if for no reason other than aesthetic appeal.
After I ladled the soup into the bowls, I added the fresh basil and also some freshly grated Parmesan (the recipe suggests fresh parsley for garnish as well – I didn’t have any). The finished product, with a slice of whole grain bread from Fresh Market:
I consider myself a tomato soup aficionado and this was delicious. I envision making this a staple in my weekly diet – either for dinner or lunch.
A warning – because of the chili flakes, it is spicy. If you are not a fan of heat, adjust accordingly.
The recipe makes 6 – 8 healthy sized servings. I figured the nutritional information on six servings: calories – 233; protein – 9.3 grams.