Wow! I know, I know…I’ve been neglectful. But I have been cooking “Plenty” recipes…just not new ones. My best cooking partner (and purchaser of the book itself) is finally here in Alaska with me and I’ve been making him a “best of” the past year of Ottolenghi that he has missed.
But tonight we made a new one for the blog: Chickpea, Tomato, and Bread Soup (pg. 218). A homey, hearty meal for a rainy spring day in Juneau.
The soup (or stew, as ours turned out) was pretty simple and followed pretty standard soup-making steps and ingredients. Start with sauteing the onions, then add the carrots and celery, then the tomatoes, seasoning, and veggie broth and cook!
This recipe called for white wine, so, of course, there was some for the soup and some for me 😉
This recipe also called for chickpeas. I love chickpeas and usually go for the canned, but this time we opted for the raw and prepped them ourselves. The prepping did not get them as done as they should have been. So, when the recipe said “crush them a little with a potato masher” ours didn’t really crush… oh well. Because of this, we decided to add them to the soup earlier than the 10-ish minutes before serving the recipe called for…and they still were a little undone.
The sourdough croutons were great! We found an excellent loaf of sourdough. Discovering that I pretty much hate fennel, I admit, I did not add the bulb to the recipe. So, I am not sure what kind of a difference it would have made. The soup did end up a little on the sweet side; maybe the fennel would have cut that? Or maybe our choice of canned tomatoes and tomato paste were just sweeter? I don’t know about that one.
My favorite part of the dish – and what I think set it apart from other tomato chickpea soups I’ve made – was the pesto. I really liked the dollop on top and think tomorrow at lunch (cuz there’s tons leftover!) I’ll add a bit more. Overall, 3 stars; it was yummy, filling, hale, and hearty, but I can’t say that it was the best soup I’ve ever had. (Mine L; Chef’s R, pg. 219).