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Chickpea Soup with Crispy Kale


Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 116

This quick vegetarian soup starts with two pantry staples—canned tomatoes and chickpeas—which are simmered with rosemary and bay leaf for extra flavor. Crispy kale makes an addictively delicious and quick garnish (and a great snack on its own)—just toss the leaves with olive oil and salt and bake in a hot oven. Be sure to dry the kale carefully after rinsing, or it won’t crisp well.

  • 1 small bunch kale (61/2 oz.), ribs removed, leaves torn into 1/2-inch pieces (about 6 cups), rinsed and well dried
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more for serving
  • Fine sea salt
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium celery stalk, finely diced
  • 1 medium carrot, finely diced
  • 2 15-oz. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14-1/2-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 3 rosemary sprigs (about 4 inches)
  • 1 bay leaf, preferably fresh
  • 4 cups mild vegetable broth, such as Pacific brand
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F.

In a large bowl, toss the kale with 1-1/2 Tbs. of the olive oil and a generous pinch of sea salt. Spread the kale on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until crisp but still green, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1-1/2 Tbs. olive oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat.Add the onion, celery, carrot, and a pinch of salt and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes with their juice, stir to combine, and cook for 1 minute. Tie the rosemary and bay leaf in a cheesecloth pouch with string. Add the herb pouch, vegetable broth, and 1 tsp. salt to the pot. Partially cover and simmer gently until flavorful, about 20 minutes, adjusting the heat as needed. Discard the herb pouch.

Purée the soup with a hand blender or in batches in a regular blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the soup among 4 bowls, top each with some of the kale, drizzle with a little oil, and serve.

Serving Suggestions

Keep it simple with green salad and bread or add Open-Face Brie, Apple, and Arugula Sandwiches for something a bit more substantial.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 370, Fat (kcal): 14, Fat Calories (g): 130, Saturated Fat (g): 1.5, Protein (g): 14, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8, Carbohydrates (mg): 52, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 3, Sodium (g): 1180, Cholesterol (g): 0, Fiber (g): 11,

Photo: Scott Phillips

Was drawn to the recipe because of the chickpeas but will stay with it as a nice hearty alternative to tomato soup. I loved the rosemary. Used a couple of very ripe tomatoes I had on hand instead of the canned and the result was a fresh, tasty and satisfying soup. I did use chicken broth for mine. It also introduced me to crispy kale. Will definitely make again.

Easy and hearty. This recipe is a great base for cooks that love to play with recipes. I wish I had used chicken broth instead of vegetable but it was still wonderful. In the end all I really added was fresh chili garlic paste. YUM! I would also recommend fluffing the kale a couple of times during the cooking process.

Easy and delicious and healthy besides? What's not to love? The kale was different but ended up being an addictive snack. Yum!

Just made this soup and I think it is wonderful - very tasty, even without he kale. Unlike the previous review, I did not have any trouble with the texture of the puree. The trick might be to use the right machine to puree the soup. I use a "Ninja" to puree all my soups - fabulous texture and no risk of it spilling out the top and burning you.

Here's a soup I'd make again, but probably not in "regular rotation"/ crave it enough to give it a 5-star rating. It is quick to put together though and satisfies hunger. It would make a tasty quick lunch on a weekend. the only changes I made were to halve the recipe, use chicken stock in place of vegetable stock (which I didn't have), and I added a bit of cauliflower I had in with the carrots/onion/celery. The kale was almost too done at the 10 minute mark, so perhaps give them a check at 8 minutes. The very texture-conscious might find the chick pea skins annoying: they don't puree well in the final result. It has the potential to be very versatile: the addition of some ginger, garlic, cumin, cardamom etc could give it some Indian flair. Or replace some of the tomato with salsa, add some cumin, garlic and Mexican oregano and replace the crispy kale with cilantro and you've gone to Mexico. Add a dash of lemon and oregano and top with a sprinkle of feta and perhaps some dill or cucumber and you've taken it in a Greek direction. You get the idea. A diced potato or diced butternut squash might make a nice addition as well to up the creaminess and add some extra vitamins/nutrition.

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