Home made bread and soup nights happen in our house at least once every week. I love to make soups because you can let your imagination run wild experimenting with different combination of ingredients. You just need to have a daring attitude and of course, your family who are the scapegoats need to be supportive too.:) I mostly never follow any strict recipes but follow some basic rules such as ensuring compatibility of the ingredients, and the flavors, etc. Most of the times I go with my gut – hey it cannot end up that bad, right? Plus I always have a back up – the bread of course!
This last week I decided to make a Chick peas and spinach soup since the only vegetable I had left in my fridge was spinach and a small piece of bottle gourd. Chick peas and spinach soup is common in the Middle east as I understand. So I decided to give that combination a try but I added italian seasoning to it. I also had some left over pumpkin puree (yes I still have some more left despite all the pumpkin stuff I have been making and posting recently! :)) and I thought why not add that in too. So now you know why I enjoy making soups – yes it is indeed a ‘refrigerator cleaning’ exercise for me. 🙂 And I think the end product reminded me of a similar soup with white beans that I had enjoyed in an Italian restaurant.
OK so here’s the recipe for the soup. The bread that I made to go with this was actually French Baguette and I will post the recipe for that separately.
This recipe will make about 4 servings
Ingredients: 1 tbsp olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped 2 small tomatoes, chopped finely 1 tsp dried thyme 1/2 tsp italian seasoning (or dried oregano) 1/4 tsp garlic sea salt 1 tsp salt 1 cup bottle gourd pieces, chopped into cubes (you could use zucchini too) 1 cup chick peas(garbanzo beans) soaked overnight and then cooked or canned chick peas, washed and drained 1/2 cup roasted pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin puree 1/4 cup cooked chick peas to make a paste ( or you can use store-bought hummus) 2 tbsp pasta marinara sauce or tomato sauce 2 cups chopped spinach about 5 cups water
Take a large pot and heat it on the stove. Add the olive oil and when hot add the chopped onions and saute for about 2 minutes on medium heat stirring continuously.
Then add the crushed garlic and stir for another 30 seconds.
Next add the tomatoes and let it cook for about 3-4 minutes until they turn soft and pulpy.
Then add the thyme, italian seasoning, the garlic seasalt and the salt.
Next add the bottle gourd pieces and again saute for about 2 to 3 minutes on low to medium heat.
Then add the chick peas, the pumpkin puree and stir.
Next take the extra chick peas and make a paste by mashing them in a bowl and add to the pot. Finally add the marinara sauce and the water and cover and cook on low heat for about 5 minutes.
Open and add the chopped spinach and let cook for another 2-3 minutes until the spinach is cooked. Adjust seasoning and add water if necessary to adjust consistency.
Enjoy warm with some fresh bread.
Since we are adding some store-bought stuff like marinara sauce or tomato sauce and or hummus etc, add any extra salt judiciously. Less salt to begin with is always ok in a soup as you can always add more if it turns out bland.
The quantity of water is also approximate. Add water as per the consistency of the soup desired.