September 16, 2009

Chickpea, Tomato, and Spelt Soup

In an effort to live with less waste and excess, I began meal planning about two months ago. Each week I scan our pantry and plan our meals around the things we already have; going to the store only to get the food we need and not to stock the cupboard. Peter and I are spending far less on food and I'm making only what we can eat. It's been marvelous. Mostly.

For whatever reason I have had a can of Chickpeas on my shelf for almost a year. Whatever recipe it was originally purchased for has been long forgotten. Each week I'd stare the can down and resolve to use it but the plan never came to fruition. Until now.

Meal planning last week I looked for an entree recipe that would include my Chickpeas. I found one on Martha Stewart's Chickpea, Tomato, and Spelt Soup. Initially, the thought of a veggie soup with some foreign grain seemed like something from Aunt Kate's kitchen but it ended up being pretty delicious.

1 cup spelt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch lengths
1 celery stalk, diced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon saffron (optional)
4 cups chicken broth, homemade or canned
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley, for garnish

1. Place spelt in a medium bowl and cover with cold water. Let soak for 1 hour; drain

2. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or large soup pot, heat oil over medium. Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add bay leaves, paprika, cumin, saffron (if using), spelt, broth, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes or until spelt is tender.

3. Add tomatoes and chickpeas and cook for 20 minutes or until flavors have blended. Discard bay leaves. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

1 comment:

  1. gah.. i need to do that to save money!...Thanks for inspiring me!