Sunday, December 20, 2009

Fast & Easy Chickpea Soup with Saffron and Almonds for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Busy getting ready to head to Portland for Christmas on Monday the last thing I want to do is spend hours making a big pot of soup. I wanted something quick and simple so I looked to my go-to book for fast and delicious recipes, "Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express" to find the perfect soup. This Chickpea Soup with Saffron and Almonds goes together in about 20 minutes (although I recommend 30 minutes to let the flavors blend a little longer). It also used items I had in my pantry, always a bonus.

Chickpea Soup with Saffron and Almonds
"Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express"
(Makes about 4 1/2 cups)

Bittman says, "Try adding some diced chorizo with the onions and garlic."

In a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, cook a thinly sliced small onion, some smashed garlic, about a half cup of slivered almonds, salt, pepper, and a pinch of saffron for about five minutes. Add a can of chickpeas (or your own cooked; either with their liquid) and four cups of chicken broth or water; use a potato masher or wooden spoon to break down some of the chickpeas. Cook and stir until warmed through and serve with a sprinkling of chopped parsley if you like.

Notes/Results: A really delicious soup with little effort and a nice combination of flavors and textures. I added the chorizo as Bittman suggests and would recommend it as it adds a wonderful lightly spicy flavor to the soup. Rather than mashing some of the chickpeas, I ran my immersion blender through the soup a few times to break some of the chickpeas down. This one is a keeper recipe for me.

We have some old friends in the Souper Sunday Kitchen this week--let's take a look:

It is a pleasure to welcome back my friend Ivy from Greek Hospitality this week. Ivy very generously created the Souper Sunday logo last year so it is a treat to have her with us. Her Cypriot Trahanas Soup is made with a traditional Greek and Cypriot ingredient, trahanas, which Ivy says "is mainly prepared from cracked wheat flour and a curd that is fermented. It is then formed into small oval patties and dried whereas in Greece they usually sieve it into tiny pellets." You can read more about this interesting ingredient and soup on Ivy's post.

Graiziana is here from Erbe in Cucina with a Kale Soup with Turmeric. Graiziana says this soup is a "compromise between 'healthy' and 'tasty' food" to satisfy her mother (who has a very different style of cooking) for lunch. Made with kale, red onion, fontina cheese, butter, milk and a key ingredient turmeric which she says "plays a fundamental role in this soup, it can't be omitted." And if you were wondering, her mother enjoyed the lunch! ;-)

Here trying out the BloggerAid Cookbook with a delicious Oxtail Stew is Heather from girlichef. She says, "While going through my book, I came across a recipe from Giz & Psychgrad of Equal Opportunity Kitchen for Oxtail Stew...and thought it looked and sounded so dreamy and comforting...and then I found a couple pounds of oxtail at the store a day or so later...fate. Let me tell you, if you've never tried must! It is rich and silky and absolutely delicious!" And check out the BloggerAid Cookbook here--it is for a good cause and although I have not cooked out of mine yet--there are some wonderful recipes.

Donna from My Tasty Treasures is here with a Roasted Red Pepper Soup she found in the classic cookbook "The Joy of Cooking." Besides the roasted red peppers this one has veggies, herbs, rice, heavy cream and a few drops of balsamic vinegar. Donna says that this creamy soup is "simple and delicious."

A gorgeous bowl of Puree of Celery Root & Yukon Gold Potato Soup made a light, delicious dinner for Debby from A Feast for the Eyes. Debby says this is "A simple, "clean" soup-- mild tasting, yet flavorful-- with notes of celery and the thickness of the potatoes. I always add some fresh lemon juice to my cream or pureed soups. We both loved this light supper-- especially with a glass of white wine and a salad."

Finding herself caught up in "pierogi madness," Lissaloo from One Step At A Time brought a warm, comforting bowl of Pierogi Chowder she found on a blog called 1000 Soups. Lissaloo says, "I had to make this, it was WONDERFUL. And it got 4 kid thumb ups from the critics. The soup was very very good and will be made many more times in my house."

Wonton Soup from Emeril was on the menu for Natashya at Living in the Kitchen with Puppies this week. Natashya says, "This is a simple and tasty wonton soup that can easily be adapted to whatever vegetables you have on hand. The chicken stock is a little mild, I recommend that you serve the soup with a small shake each of soy sauce and rice vinegar. The wontons themselves are bursting with flavour and a joy to eat."

Faith from Thought 4 Food is here with the perfect for the season Elizabeth's Three Squash Soup. It's her Mom's recipe and Elizabeth says, "She makes the best squash soup I’ve ever had (including any that I’ve ever eaten at a restaurant). Her recipe has the perfect touch of sweetness, and all the warm spices really highlight the earthiness of the squash." Her Mom was even shown on the local news once for this soup--picking out the squash at the farmer's market. This one looks like a must try!

Lovely soups, just perfect to chase away that winter chill this week! Thanks to everyone who participated. If you have a soup (or sandwich or salad), that you would like to send along, click on the logo on the side bar for all of the details.

Have a happy holiday week!


  1. Beautiful round-up! The photos are all especially lovely this week.
    I love chorizo and saffron. I definitely need this book!

  2. mmmm gorgeous soups this week! perfect in this weather!

  3. yummy round-up, enjoy your trip!

  4. Yum, deeeeelicious round-up! I've had my eye on that Bittman soup, too...I love everything about that book!! Have a safe trip and happy holidays Deb :)

  5. Delicious and warming round-up. Wish you a Merry Christmas and happy holidays.

  6. WOWOW,a beautiful round up u have here-and jus as m relishing my mommys caldo

  7. yum, hot soups pictures for a cold day at the office! I feel better, (and I have bookmarked them) thank you!

  8. I love souper Sundays! Such great ideas. A great round up as always.

  9. great soup as always Deb have fun in Portland'

    Merry Christmas love Rebecca

  10. This was a gorgeous roundup, Deb! I saw a recipe for chickpea soup a couple days ago and knew it was something I'd have to try! Yours looks gorgeous. I also loved Lisaloo's pierogi chowder. We are big pierogi fans here and I've never heard of a pierogi chowder before - yum!

  11. This is a great round-up! Chockfull of some delicious looking soups. I love your chickpea soup! There is something about chickpeas and almonds that makes that go surprisingly well together. Plus it is such a gorgeously vivid color!

  12. Once again, a beautiful round up of soups and stews. I see a pattern of "healthy" soups-- maybe we've overindulged with Christmas chocolates? Thanks for including me!! Have a safe trip.

  13. I have never bought saffron - do you always have it on hand? The soup looks lovely.

    I'll be in Hawaii for the first time this January - the Big Island. So excited!

  14. Lovely round-up, Deb! Your chickpea soup sounds incredibly flavorful and delicious!

  15. The chickpea soup sounds fantastic with saffron and almonds, a must try for sure!

  16. Thanks everyone for the positive soup comments and the travel well-wishes!

    girlichef--yes the Bittman book is amazing--so good to pull out when you are stuck for something quick to make.

    Michelle--I do actually usually have saffron on hand--I stock up when on the mainland at Trader Joes where it is so much cheaper. It adds such a nice touch to so many dishes.


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