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Falafel Soup with Tamari Croutons and Kale [vegan]

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Recipe adapted from She Likes Food.  [Recipe makes 4 to 6 servings].

Since AFC's last post, temperatures have dropped significantly and snow has joined us for yet another season.  This can only mean one thing; we're in full-on winter soup mode.

There are a decent amount of winter soups already on the blog (potato and leek soup, lentil soup, cream of tomato soup, sweet potato and peanut soup, curried butternut squash soup, and cream of mushroom soup, to name a few), but most of them (the exception being lentil soup) contain some form of dairy.  Don't get me wrong, butter and heavy cream can do wonders on a soup, but there need to be different options out there that fit vegan criteria.

I absolutely love falafel and hummus, so when I found a soup that imitated the flavors without using any dairy or chicken stock, I had to give it a try.  In the end, I ended up bumping up some of the spices and incorporating lemon juice for a nice brightness and some sesame oil for increased depth, but that was it!  As long as I have some extra chickpeas on hand, the next time I'm craving a comforting winter soup I'll be ready to whip up another batch in no time.

INGREDIENTS:

2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
1/2 lemon, juiced

4 cups cubed sourdough bread
Olive oil
2 teaspoons tamari (or soy sauce)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper

Additional lemon wedges, for garnish
Tahini, for garnish
Baby kale (or similar greens), for garnish
Sesame oil, for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

Heat a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat.  Add the olive oil, followed by the onions.  Stir and cook for 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.  Add the chickpeas, cumin, paprika, coriander, parsley, salt, and pepper, and cook for several minutes.  [Side note:  If you feel that the spices are sticking and about to burn, add 1 tablespoon of water to the pan and stir].  Once the spices have toasted and released their natural oils, add the vegetable stock.  Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 30 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, make your croutons.  Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  In a large bowl, toss the cubed bread, enough olive oil to coat, tamari, salt, and pepper.  Transfer to the preheated skillet and saut√© until the croutons are crisp and nicely browned.  Remove from heat and reserve.

Once the soup is ready, add the lemon juice, and blend using a stick blender or standard blender.  Serve, and garnish with a drizzle of tahini, croutons, lemon wedges, kale, and drizzle of sesame oil.  [Side note:  If the tahini is too thick to drizzle, thin out with a little water or almond milk].

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