chickpea, tomato and bread soup

14 Dec

I visited my new nephew yesterday.  As soon as I walked in the door (and saw that he was sleeping, of course), I asked my sister if I could use her oven.  She looked at me peculiarly, but she did preheat it to my required temperature.  And to continue my drug analogy, if blogging about baking was like taking Nicorette gum, driving 70 minutes to bake a Betty Crocker brownie mix is like getting a quick fix in the alley. 

But let me tell you how surprisingly good the brownie/cookie turned out to be!  And that’s not just the junkie talking (well, maybe it is).  I took a Betty Crocker brownie mix and a chocolate chip cookie mix and followed the directions on each package to make the batters. I put the brownie mix in a 9 x 12 pan coated with non-stick spray, then took spoonfuls of cookie mix and dolloped the top with the batter.  I baked it according to the brownie directions and yeah!  I was a baker again.  It’s a cookie brownie!  Not my usual caliber of baking, but it was gooooood.

And the baby was precious.

Ok, that’s all you’re getting about the brownies.  Now here’s some real food you should make and eat.

While visiting with my in-laws last weekend, I spied a new cookbook on the counter.  Plenty:  Vibrant Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi is a wonderful cookbook with 120 vegetarian recipes.  The photo on the cover just begged me to open it and I photocopied several recipes I wanted to try.  This is my first from the cookbook, and if it is any indication about the rest of the recipes, I can’t wait to try them all!

Chickpea, tomato and bread soup is delicious.  It is Mr. Ottolenghi’s take on the Italian ribolittaIt is such a filling soup.  Perfect for these cold days of winter.  And if you didn’t try using fennel in my salmon chowder, here is another chance to try the vegetable!

Chickpea, Tomato and Bread Soup

  • 1 large onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled, cut lengthways in half and sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 14 oz. can Italian plum tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped oregano (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp. thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 large slices (4 oz) stale sourdough bread ( crust removed)
  • 2 1/2 cups chickpeas (freshly cooked or canned which have been rinsed and drained)
  • 4 Tbsp. basil pesto
  • handful of shredded basil leaves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or if you don’t have a workable oven 😦 , use your toaster oven).  Place the onion and fennel in a large saucepan, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and saute on medium heat for about 4 minutes.  Add the carrot and celery and continue cooking for 4 minutes, just to soften the vegetables, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the tomato paste and stir as you cook for 1 minutes.  Add the wine and let it bubble away for a minute or two.

Add the canned tomatoes with their juices, the herbs, sugar, vegetable stock and some salt and pepper.  Brink to boil, then cover and leave to simmer gently for about 30 minutes.

While you wait, break the bread into rough chunks.  Bake for about 10 minutes or until thoroughly dry (or toast in toaster oven).  Set aside.

About 10 minutes before you want to serve the soup, place the chickpeas in a bowl and crush them a little with a potato masher or the back of a spoon; you want some to be left whole.  Add them to the soup and leave to simmer for 5 minutes.  Next add the toasted bread, stir well and cook for another 5 minutes.  Taste the soup and add salt and pepper.

Ladle the hot soup into bowls.  Spoon some pesto into the center and finish with shredded basil if desired.

Using the Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder, 1/6th of the recipe has 8 PointsPlus.

1 Comment

Posted by on December 14, 2011 in points plus, soups, vegetarian


Tags: , , , ,

One response to “chickpea, tomato and bread soup

  1. Tammy Arnold

    December 14, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    This looks delicious! Your blog is so funny and so you! 🙂


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