June 26, 2019

Weeknight tomato soup worth giving

By Jess Wisloski

A friend of mine, who grew up with Christmas and Hanukkah, somehow wed into a family that barely celebrates holidays and certainly doesn’t do gifts. But she can’t help herself — she gifts this simple, kid-friendly, all-palates recipe that freezes well, packaged up in Mason jars for folks to heat up for an easy night’s dinner.

I have an arsenal of jars of soup in my freezer and love using them up on busy, crazy work-day weeknights. But this recipe? It’s so simple to make in a pinch, it’s great any time. It’s super smart, widely lovable (even if you don’t normally go for tomato soups) and vegetarian, just like my dear friend Steph is.

Chickpea tomato bisque

2 15-ounce cans chickpeas

3 tablespoons of olive oil

2 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped

2 3-inch sprigs fresh rosemary, needles removed from stem and finely chopped

2 cans diced tomatoes, one 28-ounce and one 14.5-ounce

A pinch of sugar

1 teaspoon salt

ground black pepper

4 cups vegetable stock

Drain and rinse the chickpeas in a colander.

Warm the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-low heat and add the garlic and rosemary. Cook for a minute or two and then add the tomatoes, sugar, salt, a few grinds of pepper, roughly half of the chickpeas and the stock. Bring to a boil over high heat; then reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes.

Remove the soup from heat and purée —immersion blenders are genius and you should have one. Otherwise let it cool and blend it in batches. Add the remaining chickpeas and warm the soup over medium heat. Serve warm.

Yield: 6-8 servings.

*Adapted from the blog orangette

Jess Wisloski, the Observer’s editor, was a longtime vegetarian and still feels inadequate when preparing meat. At home, she sticks largely to vegetarian cooking. These are her favorites.

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