Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Chickpea & Rice Tomato Soup

While it was a bit chilly today in Kansas City, the afternoon was absolutely gorgeous. I said to one of my colleagues as we were heading to our cars after work that I have absolutely no excuse whatsoever not to get my biscuits out on a run. It's been a couple of weeks. I really haven't run since the Diva Dash, but I forced myself out and it was worth it! Worth every single beautiful mile. I started out feeling like I was dogging it a bit. The bountiful spring scenery kept me going and then I felt my stride get stronger and stronger. I managed to shave off five minutes from the last time I hit the trail. 

Now that I've got my run completed, my stomach is growling for some leftover soup. I cannot wait to dig into this again tonight.

This is not your average tomato soup friends. Not that I find tomato soup boring. I love tomato soup. I really liked straight up condensed Campbell's tomato soup out of the can. Unfortunately, after going gluten-free I discovered it is condensed with a ton of wheat in it. This is disappointing news for the average Midwesterner. Instead of being sad though, I've considered making my own tomato soup an adventure. I'm happy with my adventure. You can make this a simple culinary adventure too if you are looking for something a little healthier. Consider this your twist on traditional tomato soups. Consider it an exploration to try some new, unique spices that you've maybe not tried because you've "never heard of that." Trust me, you might find out you like it.

Here I've taken my traditional tomato soup base- diced onion, 1 clove minced garlic, carrot, and celery sauteed in a little extra virgin olive oil and cooked with chicken broth, 1 can diced tomatoes, and a can of tomato paste- and added a kick. Chickpeas and rice bulk this soup up to make it an entree. Ground cumin, coriander, and garam masala add the unique and spicy twist. Cumin adds a warm, smoky depth. Coriander adds light citrus notes. Garam masala adds more warmth without burning your mouth. I happened to by my garam masala blend at Super Target, but you could also try Whole Foods, Penzy's, or an Asian or Indian market. It is worth adding to your spice cabinet!

Chickpea and Rice Tomato Soup

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow or white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup carrot, diced
1/4 cup celery, diced
6 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 14.5 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup instant brown rice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, and chickpeas. Stir to combine. Bring to a gentle simmer and then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally to so you do not scorch the bottom of the pan. Add the rice and the remaining ingredients. Cook an additional 5 minutes or until the rice is soft. This soup can be made ahead and reheated or served immediately with your favorite sides. We enjoyed ours with salad and garlic bread. 

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