Sunday, 22 January 2012

Chickpea, lime and vegetable soup

To save money as well as the sometimes agonising decision of what to have for lunch, I try to make a large pot of soup on weekends to take to work during the week. It’s usually just a bunch of vegetables thrown into some tomato sauce and stock, but this week I decided to put a little more effort into it.

I thought the ground nut (peanut) oil would bring out the nutty flavour of the chickpeas, while the sweet potato would make the broth thick and hearty. The lime juice and cumin give it a little kick, which I usually need around lunchtime to get me through to my afternoon cup of industrial-strength coffee, which gets me through to the train journey home…you know how it is.

Makes about 3-4 generous bowlfuls (can be eeked out a bit more by pouring over a small amount of rice)

2-3 tablespoons of ground nut (peanut) oil
2 onions
3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 red pepper
4 small to medium-sized carrots, chopped
1 package of fine green beans (about two large handfuls), chopped
2 lumps of frozen spinach (can add to the soup frozen or defrosted)
1 sweet potato, baked and mashed
2 teaspoons cumin
2 ½ teaspoons oregano
Pepper to taste
1 box/can of crushed tomatoes
1 can of chickpeas
½ litre of vegetable stock (I used a packet of Knorr vegetable stock gel)
5 tablespoons of lime juice

1. Heat the oil. Fry the onions until brown, then add the garlic. Let fry for 1-2 minutes, then add the red pepper. After a few minutes more, add the crushed tomatoes and vegetable stock. Season with pepper, if desired.

2. While the soup heats back up, chop the carrots and green beans and add in. Stir in the chickpeas and spinach. Cover the pot.

3. Let the soup simmer for 5-10 minutes before adding the sweet potato, cumin and oregano.

4. Let simmer for 10 minutes more, then add the lime juice. Simmer for another 5-10 minutes, or as desired.

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