Monday, November 05, 2007

Chana Masala Soup

I like creamy tomato soup a lot, and I often make a vaguely Italian version with onions and carrots as aromatics and basil and thyme as spices. The other day I was looking at Orangette's recipe for tomato chickpea soup. I had chickpeas, I had tomatoes… and I had fresh ginger and spices left over from cooking projects of yore. So I made something I called chana masala soup—the liquid version of Indian spiced chickpeas with tomatoes. My spice blend, like every other “ethnic” dish that comes out of my kitchen isn’t remotely authentic, but I was very pleased with the soup. It’s a rich, aromatic tomato puree full of creamy chickpeas, just spicy enough to warm your mouth.


Soak some dry chickpeas. Sure, you can use canned chickpeas, but they really taste better if you cook them yourself, something I discovered when I started making my own hummus. It’s more time consuming, but requires almost no effort on your part. Soak 3/4 cup of chickpeas overnight. Add a couple of teaspoons of baking soda to the water —it’ll help the chickpeas cook faster. Rinse the soaked chickpeas, put them in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, add a dash of salt and simmer over medium heat until the chickpeas are soft, about 1 hour.

I heated up a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy soup pot, then added a large, chopped onion, a finely chopped carrot and a stalk of finely chopped celery. I sautéed the aromatics until the onion was soft and translucent (about 10 minutes), and added 2 garlic cloves and a 1-inch piece of ginger root, finely minced together almost into a paste. I sautéed for a few more minutes until the ginger and garlic turned fragrant.

I turned up the heat and added 1 tbs. of garam masala, 1 tsp. of ground cumin, 1 tsp. of ground coriander, 1 tsp. of turmeric, and ¼ tsp. of cayenne, frying the spices for several minutes . Next I added a 32-oz can of whole, peeled San Marzano tomatoes, breaking up the pieces with a spoon and 4 cups of chicken stock. I brought the soup to a boil, and then turned down the heat and let it simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes. I took the soup off the heat and pureed it in batches in a blender, then poured it back into the soup pot. I then added 1 tbs. of brown sugar (skip if your tomatoes are sweet enough), 1.5 tsp. of coarse salt and about ½ cup of plain yogurt, stirring until the yogurt dissolved. I added the cooked chickpeas to the soup and heating it for serving.


Ann said...

Looks wonderful! I love warming spicey soups and make a Moroccan Chickpea Soup (buried in my blog somewhere) that fast, easy and so satifying. I'll be trying yours soon!

Yulinka said...

Ann--A Moroccan variation sounds great. I'm planning to find that recipe in your archives.

Ann said...

Here it is:

Let me know how you like it. it was a real staple for me when I was in serious calorie restriction mode.

the chocolate lady מרת שאקאלאד said...

I will try this. We are enjoying a warm sunny fall in the east, but it is definitely time for some rich spicy soups!

Yulinka said...

Chocolate lady--Let me know how it turns out, and stay tuned for more soups. In fact, I was planning to write my next post about how I eat soup year-round, regardless of weather. I crave soup in July as much as I do in December.

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