Easy + Healthy Cauliflower + Chickpea Soup

Today doesn’t seem like one of those days in winter where we *need* soup but I’m posting this anyways because I loved this recipe. Currently, it is 45 degrees in Maine which is short of a miracle for this time of year. On a day like today, it seems like there are limitless possibilities. It’s beautiful weather for a run, a walk, or whatever outdoor activity you prefer this time of year. Anyways, I have been in search of easy dinner options the last month. When I get home from work, fetch my two kiddos off the bus (both at different times mind you, ugh), get to the grocery store, tidy up my house, etc, I tend to lose the motivation to cook. But what’s the alternative? We eat take out that basically tastes like shit and makes me feel gross. So, I figure if a recipe is relatively low maintenance, I can muster the energy and toss it together. What’s even better is that I have been freezing all of the leftovers. I then, get to enjoy them during the work week for lunch or on the weekends when it’s cold and I don’t want to leave the comfort of my home. Today I have with me spicy black bean soup. It’s SO cleansing and delicious. I’ll be sharing that recipe soon. (AND to boost, its something I threw in the crockpot–even better)

On a personal note, New Years is right around the corner. A time for big declarations. I’m past making any of those. As humans, we can only do our very best everyday and let the rest shake out. I do encourage all of you to consider what is important and perhaps jot down a couple of intentions. For me, it’s be more patient with myself (and others of course), keep my eye on the finish line in my academic pursuits and be more conscious of what I am placing in my body as everything has lasting effects–both mentally and physically.

I hope you all enjoy this recipe!!!

THE SOUP
1 cauliflower head, cut into florets (about 4 cups total)
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
6 garlic cloves, peeled
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. paprika
4 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 cups chicken broth (use vegetable broth if you don’t do meat)
1 cup water
1/4 cup heavy cream

THE GARNISH
Reserved roasted cauliflower
Reserved roasted chickpeas
Red pepper flakes
Fresh sprinkle of thyme (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pre-heat  oven to 400 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the cauliflower florets, chickpeas and garlic cloves (just leave them whole) with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and the cumin, salt and paprika. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring once half way through. Remove and set aside,. Reserve about 1/2 cup for the garnish.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the cubed potatoes and black pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chicken broth and the water and increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to maintain a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are very soft, about 15-20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the roasted cauliflower mix.
  3. Puree the soup using an immersion blender. Alternatively, you can use a food processor or blender, working in batches if necessary and being careful when transferring and blending hot liquids. Return the pureed soup to the stovetop and gently re-warm it. Stir in the heavy cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with the reserved roasted cauliflower mix, red pepper flakes, fresh thyme leaves and a drizzle of heavy cream, if desired. Enjoy immediately.

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