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Meatless Monday: Creamy chickpea soup

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Beyond The Peel

(Read caption) The chickpeas make this soup incredibly thick and rich without having to add a ton of cream.

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I usually menu plan before I do my Sunday prep for the week. That sounds logical right? Well, I decided that I was too lazy to bother this week and just made up a bunch of random food and thought that I would figure it out as I go along.

Staring at me in my fridge was a large batch of lovely chickpeas. With the rain coming down hard, as it does on the Island in the fall, I was really just craving soup. Hot, creamy, comforting soup that warms from the inside out. The chickpeas add great protein but also make this soup incredibly creamy without having to add a ton of cream. 

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You can use canned chickpeas if you want, but the recipe works either way. I’ve made a few notes in the recipe to easily convert this soup for vegetarian and vegan readers.

Creamy Chickpea Soup with a Spicy Chili Oil
Makes 6 cups: 200 calories per cup (not including the oil)

2 leeks, whites only
1 teaspoon  coconut oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
3  cups of cooked chickpeas, or 1 cup raw (soaked over night and cooked until tender)
1 medium carrot diced
4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1/2 cup half and half (optional for vegans or substitute coconut milk)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Start by mixing the Chili Oil (recipe below).

Clean and thinly slice the leeks. In a large pot over medium heat, melt the coconut oil and cook the leeks for 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.

Meanwhile, peel and dice the carrot. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer until carrots are tender, approximately 20 minutes. 

Allow the soup to cool a little. Remove the bay leaves. Using an emulsion blender, food processor, or blender, purée the soup until smooth. Note: Be very careful if using a traditional blender as the compressed heat from the soup can cause the top of the blender to shoot off.

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Chili Oil

1/4  cup olive oil
1 teaspoon dries chilies

In a small pan over low heat, gently warm the oil and the chilies. Be careful not to heat the olive oil too much, warm to the touch is what we’re after, so as not to ruin the healthy properties of olive oil. Remove from the heat source and allow the chilies to soak in the oil while the soup is cooking. Taste the oil and adjust the spiciness by adding more oil if it’s too hot. If it’s not hot enough, return to the stove and warm it up one more time. The flavor will develop the longer it sits.

Related post: Easy, Comforting Curried Yam Soup