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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Chickpea Soup with Beet Greens

Chickpeas deliver 8.86 grams of protein for every 3.5 ounces of legumes.  Recent studies also show the chickpea to lower cholesterol in the blood stream.  Chickpeas are a helpful source of zinc and folate. They are also very high in dietary fiber and hence a healthy source of carbohydrates for persons with  insulin sensitivity or diabetes.

You will need:
  • 1 - 14 oz. bag of Chickpeas, soaked in cold water overnight
  • 2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 - small Yellow Onion
  • 3 - Leeks (only use the white sections of the leeks)
  • 2 or 3 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 bunch of beet greens (beets are typically sold in sets of 3 or 4, use the greens from the bunch for soup - this is a great use for these greens and the beets can be roasted with an entree)
  • 2 fresh Rosemary sprigs
  • 1 - 26 ounce carton of Pomi chopped tomatoes (feel free to substitute another product if you choose)
  • 1 - 4 cup container of vegetable stock ( I recommend Kitchen Basics)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
1) Drain the chickpeas and put in a large pot. Cover with vegetable stock and bring to a boil, remove any foam that forms with a slotted spoon.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until the chickpeas become tender.  Add more stock if necessary.

2) Drain the chickpeas; however, save the cooking liquid. If you used an unsalted stock, be sure to season your chickpeas with salt and pepper well.  Put 2/3 of your chickpeas in a blender with some of the cooking liquid and puree.  Return to the cooking pot.

3) Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan.  Add onion, leeks and garlic and cook over medium heat stirring often until leeks and onions become translucent. This should take approximately 4-5 minutes.  While this is cooking, prepare beet greens by cutting the purple core out of them and slicing into bite size strips.  Add the beet greens and whole rosemary sprigs to saute pan and cook for another 4 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes or until the tomatoes have broken down to an almost smooth sauce.  Remove the rosemary sprigs.

4) Add the beet greens and tomato mixture to the chickpea puree and simmer.  Add additional vegetable stock to reach the appropriate consistency.  Be sure to taste and add salt and pepper to your liking. Simmer on low until ready to serve.

5) Serve in warmed bowls. Enjoy!

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