September 2, 2014 1 Comment
As nights and mornings gradually grow colder, I love having something warm to eat. While summer weather is beautiful and I do adore Sun Gold tomatoes, nectarines, and grilling, fall and winter are my favorite seasons for food. Soup, stews, and braises are truly some of my favorite things to cook: throw everybody in a pot, cook over low heat for a long time, and remove the lid to discover broth-infused veggies, perfectly-cooked beans, and meat that falls apart with the touch of a fork. There is nothing better on a dreary November night. Nothing.
Except a molten chocolate lava cake.
Perhaps September 2nd is a bit premature to start talking about fall food, but I started school last Monday, and school means fall, so there. I want my soup and I want it now.
Especially a soup as tasty as this one!
The idea for this soup was born when I wanted to make my chicken soup but had just eaten chicken for dinner the night before. What was a girl to do? Well, make it without meat, that is…and throw in some chewy, doughy dumplings! Voila–chickpeas and dumplings.
In addition to being incredibly filling and warming–it kept me warm all through the freezer that is my French class (to quote my teacher, “Pourquoi il fait toujours froid dans ma salle de classe?!”)–this soup provides a healthy serving of vegetables and a good source of protein from the beans and dumplings. Traditional chicken and dumplings includes cream, but I decided to leave it out–we didn’t miss it in the slightest. (We don’t like cream soups very much, anyway.) You’ll be too busy sipping away at that flavorful broth, perfectly accented by my secret ingredient.
Want to find out what it is? Keep reading–and make this dish while you’re at it. 😉
First, cook your chickpeas. I always make my beans from scratch–canned beans always give me indigestion, and personally, I find home-cooked beans to have much more flavor.
Soak 2 cups of chickpeas in a bowl of warm water and 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar (one with active enzymes, like Bragg’s) overnight. This will help lower the level of anti-nutrients (like phyates and lectins) and break down the long-chain carbohydrates that are difficult for your body to digest.
The next day, drain the chickpeas and rinse them well with fresh water. Place them in a medium saucepan, cover with fresh water (enough to cover the beans by at least 2 inches), and bring it to a boil. Once bubbling, add in a strip of kombu (a kind of seaweed that also has enzymes to help break the beans down), and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the beans are soft and tender, about 2 to 3 hours.
Now that your chickpeas are ready, get started on the soup base.
In a dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until beginning to sizzle. Add 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally to help brown it a bit.
Next, add in 1 large onion chopped into small pieces. Let it saute for five minutes, then add 4 large carrots and 2 stalks of celery also chopped into small pieces.
Let all of the veggies saute together for another 5 minutes, then pour in 1 teaspoon of salt, 2 teaspoons of poultry seasoning, and 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric. Stir to cover the vegetables with the spices and let saute for another 2 minutes.
By the way, vegans and vegetarians–poultry seasoning does not contain any meat, quite the opposite, in fact: it’s a combination of lots of yummy herbs like rosemary, thyme, marjoram, and others.
To the vegetables, add the cooked chickpeas, 6 cups of vegetable stock, and 1 cup of apple cider (the SECRET ingredient!). I made my own vegetable stock, but if you use store-bought, please purchase the low-sodium variety! Increase the heat to high and bring everything to a boil, then turn it down to low and cook for another 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the dumplings, adapted from this recipe.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine 1 1/2 cups of almond flour with 1/2 cup of tapioca powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/3 cup of vegetable broth. Pulse for about 30 seconds until a soft dough is formed, then simply roll into balls and drop into the soup for 25 minutes.
Serve hot and eat with a big old spoon. Enjoy! 🙂
What is your favorite fall soup? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!