Sunday, September 9, 2012

Chickpea and Roasted Pepper Soup

This weekend was both exhausting yet relaxing.

On Saturday--after my regular class of teaching yoga to BPS bus drivers--I ran what was supposed to be a "Friends and Family 5K Fun Run" at Offutt Air Force Base. About 35 minutes into the race, I noticed that I was nowhere near the end of the course, yet I should have been just about done (I usually run them in about 35-36 minutes now). At 40 minutes in, I thought "This is NOT a 5K!" When I crossed the finish line at 45 minutes (after a giant hill at the end!), my friend, Julie, announced "Hey, guess what? They measured the course wrong, and it was more than 5K!" No kidding. We figured out that it was just over 4 miles that we ran that morning--about 6.5K. I was kind of mad about running that far without being forwarned, but rather proud that I did it! After a post-race massage (with Christine Thye at A Moment to Breathe--go get a massage from her!) and running errands that afternoon, though, I was thoroughly exhausted.

Today, though, was a wonderfully relaxing day. I ran a few errands in the morning, then went to visit my friend, Ferial. I made us a chickpea and roasted pepper soup for lunch, and then we enjoyed chai masala and a Bollywood movie for the rest of the afternoon. Ahhhhh... good food, good tea, and good company!

The soup I made was a recipe from Cat Cora that I had seen in my most recent Yoga Journal magazine: Chickpea and Roasted Pepper Soup. It turned out fantastic, though Ben wished it was a little more savory and a little less sweet (I thought it had just a hint of sweet from the onion and peppers, though, not overpowering).

Because the chickpeas would be considered my starch for lunch, I also brought some white wine and garlic turkey sausage/brats that I found at the meat counter at our local Baker's supermarket. Since I wasn't sure if the sausages would be any good, I cooked them separately in the oven and then sliced and added them to our individual bowls of soup at the end (I didn't want to end up with a big pot of sucky soup if the sausages were terrible). The sausage was good, though, so in the future I'll probably partially saute it, then slice it and add it to the soup to finish cooking. In the future, I might also consider using only 3 cans of chickpeas instead of 4, and possibly adding some other non-starchy vegetables, like zucchini, cauliflower, or something. The beauty of the chickpeas, though, is that they do contain some protein and are pretty high in fiber, so they're definitely worth having in the soup. :)

Chickpea and Roasted Pepper Soup (from Cat Cora)

2 Tbsp EVOO
1 1/2 medium onions, chopped (recipe calls for 2, but I reduced this slightly)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
4 15-oz cans of chickpeas, drained (I used Bush's Best Reduced Sodium)
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
8 cups vegetable broth (I used Kitchen Basics Unsalted)
2 Bay leaves
4 red bell peppers (recipe only calls for 2, I used more), roasted, peeled, & seeded
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
flat-leaf parsley for garnish (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over the medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the chickpeas and rosemary, mixing well. Add broth and bay leaves.

Purée the red peppers in a food processor or blender. Stir into the soup, cover, and simmer gently over medium-low heat for about 45 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves and season to taste the salt and pepper. Just before serving, garnish the soup with chopped fresh parsley, if you'd like.

I ate mine with a side of steamed broccoli, since this soup mostly contains starchy vegetables; in addition, as I mentioned, I sliced up some white wine and garlic turkey sausage and put it in my soup. You can choose to eat this soup plain, or add turkey meatballs, turkey sausage, or Aidell's chicken sauasage. 

Nutritional Information (Soup makes 8 servings, info for 1 serving)
Calories: 246
Fat: 6.5g     Sodium: 588mg     Carb: 41.1     Fiber: 9.2      Protein: 10.1     Sugars: 5.9