Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Garbanzo bean soup and the coziness of home

Have I mentioned before why I so crave my home all day long while at work?

Oh, the warmth of home, the feeling of safety, the uniqueness of your heart reveled in everything you love, the coziness of a softly lighten room, the peaceful ambience and quietness that sing lullabies to the tired spirit. And then.... there is food, the chance to experiment with food and the return to my roots though the inexplicably awesome science of bud taste.

The kitchen has been waiting for my return all day long. I’ve been envisioning a tasty bowl of garbanzo soup ever since I stepped out the door this morning to another chilly day under more murky skies. And now I’m finally here, ready to materialize my dream.

Who doesn't like a bowl of soup to warm up? If you live in the South, believe me, there is nothing more satisfying under this gray silent world of ice where I live than a hearty bowl of soup after a long day at work. I love soup, not only because soup goes with the weather, but because I carry soup in my blood so to speak... the Spanish definitely love their soups, particularly in Spain, where the weather can turn chilly in September and stay that way until April. Garbanzo beans are a staple in the traditional Spanish diet and they add texture and flavor, while the vegetables provide added nutritional benefit.

Maybe the best thing about this soup is that it can be prepared in less than an hour using a pressure cooker, but if you are as hungry as I am tonight, opening a can of garbanzo beans would be sufficient. Add your spices and the flavor would the same, nutritionally speaking the benefits are the same, and you can have a delicious homemade soup in less than 30 minutes. Tonight, I’ve also made some picadillo (savory ground beef) and rice... but this is just because Spaniards love their soups with rice, and rice and picadillo are the perfect combination ever, but you can always serve your garbanzo bean soup as a main dish, accompany it with garlic toast, or whatever you want.

Here is my recipe for a yummy (canned) garbanzo bean soup. Nothing could be easier than putting together this hearty soup with seasoned garbanzo beans, rice, and tomatoes. It will warm chilly days and satisfy winter appetites.

Ingredients: Diced chorizo 1 teaspoon olive oil 3/4 cup diced onion 6 cloves of garlic, minced Bunch of diced cilantro ¼ teaspoon cumin 1/2 cup Burgundy or other dry red wine 1 cup diced red and green bell pepper 1/3 cup sliced celery 1 diced potato ½ diced zucchini 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1 can low-sodium chicken broth 1 or two can/s garbanzo beans

Cook the chorizo on a Dutch oven with olive oil and place over medium-high heat until browned. Add onion and wine; cook 3 minutes. Add bell pepper and remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Visit Susan, at Between naps on the porch for more lovely tables.