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.

Method:

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.

5 comments:

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: http://www.redactedrecipes.com/2007/09/moroccan-chickp.html

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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