Monday, February 6, 2012

Roasted Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

I love chickpeas and I love that I've found something new to do with them. Not a starring role this time, but a solid supporting role.

Many soups that are purèed call for a potato to thicken the soup. The potato serves that purpose nicely without adding too much flavor that affects the taste of the main ingredients. Well, I don't cook potatoes at home and never have them in my pantry. I'm not anti-potato, I just love them too much, you know?

In this soup, I used chickpeas to thicken the soup and it works beautifully. They aren't quite as neutral tasting as a potato but they work beautifully and add protein and additional fiber to the soup. There is one important element to getting a silky  purèed  soup: you must use a blender to purèe the soup if you want it to be silky smooth. A food processor or stick blender just won't do the trick. Just as you must use a blender if you want to make silky smooth hummus (you do, you know - really), it's necessary to this soup, too. When it comes to hummus, some would say that you can't make a silken hummus without rubbing off the skins but I swear by the blender method.

...but I digress. I replaced the "one medium russet potato" called for in several recipes I reviewed with 1 cup cooked chickpeas in the recipe I ended up with. You could use canned but did you know that when you use canned chickpeas or other beans, unicorns cry? It's true!