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Tuesday, April 6, 2010, Issue No. 290

Escape to Tuscany

Tuscan Chickpea Soup
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This surprisingly easy soup is both light and filling and perfect for a cool spring day. This dish is a warm comfort, reminiscent of the Tuscan countryside; with fresh herbs and hearty chickpeas you can enjoy this soup in as little as 30 minutes, anytime, anywhere. Plus AICR’s special prep tips help avoid high levels of sodium found in most canned beans. (Read about studies revealing garlic's anti-cancer potential.)

Tuscan Chickpea Soup

  • 2 cans (15 oz.) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 large whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 can (14 1/4 oz.) reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish (optional)
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice (optional)
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. minced flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)

Place chickpeas and garlic in large saucepan. Pour broth and 2 cups cold water into pot. Add liquid to pot and over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until beans are very soft, 20 minutes. Let the soup sit 10 minutes to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, heat oil in small skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to blender.

Add chickpeas, garlic, liquid, tomato paste and rosemary. Purée until smooth. This may need to be done in 2 batches. Make soup smooth or leave some texture, as you prefer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Garnish each either by drizzling 1/2-teaspoon of olive oil over the soup, or by mixing in 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Sprinkle with parsley.

Makes 6 servings or 6 cups.

Per serving: 142 calories, 3 g. total fat (less than 1 g. saturated fat), 21 g. carbohydrate,
8 g. protein, 5 g. dietary fiber, 372 mg. sodium.

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