Sunday, May 12, 2013

Chickpea, Vegetable & Walnut Soup (aka "The Soup-er Cleanse") for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Maybe I shouldn't refer to this soup by its given name; "The Soup-er Cleanse" on the post title because the words  "cleanse" or "detox" can make people turn up their nose at food because they think it might be too healthy or flavorless. In fact, this soup from The Eat Clean Diet Vegetarian Cookbook by Tosca Reno, has a lot of flavor from the garlic, lemon, parsley, cumin and cayenne. The texture is thick and creamy from the raw walnuts. I look at foods like this as a way to balance, to counteract the not-so-good-for-me things I might indulge in. Like the cannoli I ate for breakfast; freshly-made from the farmers market, too hard to resist, and just about perfect with my soy latte. A decadent cannoli for breakfast, a surprisingly good cleanse soup for lunch--it all evens out in the end! ;-)

The Soup-er Cleanse (Chickpea, Vegetable & Walnut Soup)
Adapted from The Eat Clean Vegetarian Cookbook by Tosca Reno
(Yields: 6 (1-cup) Servings)
Prep: 15 min / Cook: 13-18 minutes

1 Tbsp  extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped, divided
1 small zucchini, chopped
2 cups cooked or 1 (15 oz) can no salt chickpeas, drained & rinsed
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin 
pinch of cayenne
3/4 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts
1 cup parsley, including stems, roughly chopped
juice of 2 lemons

Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot on medium. Add onion, celery, two cloves of the garlic and sweat for about 3 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add 3 cups water, zucchini, chickpeas, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer.

Cover and cook on low heat until vegetables are tender, 10-15 minutes. Pour into blender and add reserved clove of chopped garlic, walnuts, parsley and lemon juice. Blend until smooth, working in batches if necessary. Can be eaten hot or cold. (Note: For a chunkier and in my mind, more interesting soup I placed a couple of cups of the soup mixture into the blender with the garlic, parsley, walnuts and lemon juice and poured the puree back into the soup pot and heated through.)

Nutritional Info (Per 1-cup Serving): Calories: 200, Calories from fat: 91, Protein: 6g, Carbs: 23g, Total Fat: 10g, Sat Fat: 1g, Fiber: 5g, Sodium: 364 mg, Cholesterol: 0mg   

Notes/Results: An easy soup that satisfies and tastes great. The recipe directions had the entire soup pureed but I wasn't feeling that, so I just blended part of it (see the details in red above) for a chunkier texture. I like the creaminess that the walnuts gave this soup without adding any dairy. Trying it both hot and cold, I think I prefer the cold version as you taste more of the cumin and less of the lemon. Light but filling, I would make this again. (Even without the breakfast cannoli reason!) ;-)

The soup isn't poured unevenly, its just the shape of the bowl ;-) 

Let's head to the Souper Sundays kitchen and look at the delicious dishes that await.

Pam of Sidewalk Shoes shares this hearty Ham and Yellow Bean Soup. She says, " might say that I have been a connoisseur of ham and bean soup practically all my life.   Up to now, my favorite has always been with great northern beans, I know some prefer navy, but for me, it’s great northern.  Until now.  As part of my “year of beans with Rancho Gordo” I received their yellow eye beans.  Good bye great northern, hello yellow eye! ... These were so good.  Perfectly creamy and their flavor complemented the ham wonderfully."

A big WELCOME to Sandra of Meadows Cooks, joining Souper Sundays for the first time this week from Brooklyn. She made Mark Bittman's Creamy Chickpea and Carrot Soup (without the aid of an immersion blender) ;-) and says, "...making creamy soups, soups that need to be blended, is a real pain. You need to transfer all that hot stuff over and back again into the pot to reheat, since it cools off while blending. Making a mess of the kitchen, stove and using more pots and pans than seems necessary. Even without an immersion blender this soup is delicious. The sweet carrot and orange flavors meld nicely with the sultry spices and chickpeas." Welcome Sandra!

Janet of The Taste Space has two salads this week. First up, this satisfying Tempeh and Arugula Salad with a Mustard Miso Dressing. She says, "...the star of this salad was the dressing. Oh my gosh, it was so good. A hefty dose of miso, a strong background of mustard with a sweet sourness from Meyer lemons and maple syrup, this dressing had a lot of bold flavours that became downright addictive. The tempeh was very basic and could be used for most meal salads since it was not strongly flavoured."

Janet's second dish is this Curried Chickpea Salad with Carrots and Currants (The Best Chickpea Salad Ever). She says, "This is a perfect chickpea salad, combining the tang I enjoy from vinaigrettes with a light creaminess from tahini along with a sweet spice from curry powder, contrasted with sweet currants and carrots. It is quite similar to my favourite lentil salad, except I am using a pre-made curry powder. Granted, the success of your salad will depend entirely on the curry powder you use. I am very partial to Penzey’s sweet blend which is fragrant and flavourful without being too spicy or earthy. It is highlighted perfectly with the touch of maple syrup."

Joanne of Eats Well With Others is here with this delectable Roasted Asparagus, Zucchini and Halloumi and says, "...the fun thing about this here salad is that, while it is totally chock full of vegetables with a side of is also topped with fried cheese. Which makes you feel just the slightest bit guilty about eating it. And which of course makes you want it all the more. It's a bad boy alright, but if it helps you get through this Monday with just a few more vegetables under your belt, then I'd say it's worth the minor indulgence as you ease yourself back into health."

My pal Kim of Stirring the Pot made Ottolenghi's Pasta and Fried Zucchini Salad and says, "...a completely different take on pasta salad than what I'm accustomed to.  First of all, this salad is brimming with shades of green: glorious rounds of fried zucchini, pale green edamame, and an herby pesto-based sauce. The salad is brightened up with lemon zest, capers, and a splash of red wine vinegar then tossed with the pasta and soft chunks of fresh mozzarella.  I must admit, my favorite part are those squishy little bites of fresh mozzarella (I am a cheese lover after all).  This is definitely a keeper!

And, one sandwich entry for this week, these wonderful little open-faced Salmon and Poppy Seed Appetizer Sandwiches from Graziana of Erbe in Cucina. She says, "I had tried the combination of smoked salmon and poppy seeds in Salmon Bagel with Sorrel, and the unusual combo of and lemon and poppy seeds in the Lemon Muffins with Poppy Seeds, so I decided to combine all these three ingredients in this tasty bruschetta."

Thanks to everyone who joined in this week! If you have a soup, salad, or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on my side bar for all of the details.

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there and have a happy, healthy week!


  1. I don't like pureed soups either. Give me chunky! This totally does not look like a cleanse soup.. it looks mighty tasty. :) Thank you for curating another weekly round-up, Deb. :)

  2. That's one tasty roundup, Deb! I love the look of Sandra's creamy chickpea and carrot soup. It looks so pretty with the garnishes. And of course Joanne's salad is scoring big points with me (I'm craving cheese lately).

    Your soup looks delicious. I like that you kept things chunky. I would've done the same. I'm beginning to see a trend with the zucchini and nuts this week ;-)

    Thanks for including me in the roundup this week!

  3. That soup sounds so much better than you would imagine! Not what I expect from a cleanse soup at all!

  4. This can't possibly be cleanse food! It just sounds and looks too delicious. Definitely perfect for balancing out that cannoli. :P Great round-up!

  5. Your soup looks really delicious, I would like a bowl right now!

  6. I am starting to explore soups and this one looks really nice. I will try it out for sure!

  7. Wow, your soup sounds great! Walnuts are something I rarely think to put in soups, but this all sounds delicious.


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