Saturday, November 14, 2009

Chickpea Potato Soup & Imagine Soups!

I love soup. I don't think there is anything I enjoy more than a good bowl of soup. I just want to give an honourable mention to the makers of Imagine Soup because they are truly outstanding. I am one who hates almost any soup in a can -- tasteless, overcooked, mostly plain yucky! I'm not even too crazy about Amy's organic line of soups even though the ingredients are excellent and I do like a lot of their frozen entrees. I find they put way too much onions in the Amy's soup and you end up spewing onion breath for a day and a half. And I've had complaints from my better half to that effect:) The Amy's No-Chicken Noodle Soup is a kind of hit & miss affair -- I absolutely love it when it's a hit. I have started to notice that the longer away the best before date is on the can the less potent the onions are. If your can is close to expiry date it's deadly! If they would only reduce the amount of onions they would be on the top of my list too!

Within the Imagine brand line of soups I particularly enjoy the Creamy Tomato and the Creamy Sweet Corn. Unfortunately, our choices within the Imagine Line of Soups, here in Canada are limited. I look with great envy at their website and can't believe the array of soups that they offer in the USA! Hopefully, one day soon, they'll all make it across the border! After looking over the offerings I decided I'd try my hand at making my own gourmet bisque soup and opened the fridge and threw some things together. I wanted something reasonably quick and easy and I'd say this recipe fits the criteria. I used to think that the Imagine soup line was pricey -- $4.99 per litre here in Canada but after adding up what it costs for all organic ingredients I'd say it's a very reasonable price. I'll definitely be keeping Imagine Soup on my shelf. Of course if you live close to the border -- lucky you. Edmonton is too far north to do any cross-border shopping.

1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups diced potatoes
1/2 head fresh cauliflower, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz)
1 can chickpeas (14 oz)
3 teaspoons veggie broth powder
1 teaspoon each sage and chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups spring water

Simple White Sauce
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons margarine
1-1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

I sauteed the onions & garlic with the sage & chili powder. Let them cook until softened. Then add your water, veggie broth powder, potatoes, cauliflower, tomatoes and chickpeas. (Unless you're crazy like me -- I actually took all of the skins off of the chickpeas -- totally not required but I can't help myself. I wanted a super smooth soup!) Let it simmer and bubble for a while until the potatoes are tender. Adjust your seasonings. I always add paul bragg at this time - I also added a bit of pepper. I like everything mild and figure anybody who wants hotter (like my husband and daughter) can add cayenne to their bowl. And they do!

Whilst the soup was simmering I whipped up the above super simple white sauce recipe and threw it into the pot. I then got out my heavy duty braun immersion blender and twirled and whirled through my pot until it was almost as super smooth as the Imagine bisque soups are! Not quite but close! This soup does thicken up quite a bit overnight so plan on adding a little extra soy milk when reheating. This recipe made about 10 cups of soup. It might be a little more than that -- I was tasting quite a bit along the way. As usual I'll be putting a few containers in the freezer -- that's the beauty of smooth soups -- they freeze amazingly well.

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