Recipe Corner: Garbanzo Bean and Vegetable Soup

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Ingredients:

2 16 oz. cans reduced sodium garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

2-3 tablespoons olive oil or unsalted butter

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 medium onion, chopped (white, brown or yellow)

2 stalks celery (and top greens), chopped

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2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 medium baking potato or sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 medium red or green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1/2 pound spinach, rinsed, stems removed, and chopped*

8 cups reduced sodium chicken, beef broth or vegetarian broth (to taste)

1 8 oz. can reduced sodium tomato sauce or tomato juice

1 14.5 oz. can stewed or crushed tomatoes or 1 cup fresh diced tomatoes

1/4 cup fine bulgur

Juice of 1/2 lemon

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon dried crushed mint

1 bay leaf

Salt, black pepper, dash of allspice

Crushed red pepper flakes, cumin, smoked paprika, basil, oregano or Aleppo pepper (to taste)

Olive oil

Chopped fresh mint, basil or parsley as garnish

 

Preparation:

In a large Dutch oven or pot, sauté garlic, onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, and peppers in olive oil or butter for 8 to 10 minutes, tossing.

Add garbanzo beans, broth, tomato sauce or juice, tomatoes, bulgur, lemon juice, and tomato paste, stir and bring to a full boil; add spinach, mint, bay leaf and spices and stir to combine.  Reduce heat, cover, and cook for 45-55 minutes or until tender.  Stir soup occasionally and add more broth or spices as needed.

Remove bay leaf.  Mash beans and potatoes if a thicker consistency is desired.  Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with choice of mint, basil or parsley.  Drizzle with olive oil and serve with pita bread, garlic bread or bread sticks.

**Suggestions: Spinach may be pan-fried in olive oil and garlic and added to this soup.  Garnish with Armenian or Greek yogurt or sour cream.  Or you can add 1/4 cup chopped dried dates or apricots to this recipe, if desired.

*Christine’s recipes have been published in the Fresno Bee newspaper, Sunset magazine, Cooking Light magazine, and at http://www.thearmeniankitchen.com/