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Smoked Paprika and Chickpea Soup

This is something to make in a hurry when you want a hearty, simple soup and don’t have any time or any stock. Don’t overdo the smoked paprika—it should exude a slightly smoky mystery to the soup, not the obvious taste of full-blown paprika.–Tamasin Day-Lewis

LC Paltry Pantry Note

You may want to keep this simple blueprint for soup affixed to the inside of cabinet door, just as a reminder for those nights when you think there’s nothing to scrounge for supper. Bear in mind, if you happen to have vegetables on hand aside from what the recipe calls for, you may as well toss them in, too. Swiss chard? Potatoes. Sure! Conversely, an error of omission isn’t the end of the world. No celery? No worries. See how easy that is? Not to mention satiating–far more so than a bowl of cold cereal. So look in your pantry again. Dinner’s in there. You just have to know where to look.

Smoked Paprika and Chickpea Soup Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion, peeled and minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 celery stalks, strings removed with a potato peeler and chopped small
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary leaves
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (yup, you can swap a 14.5-ounce can of rinsed, drained chickpeas in place of soaked, dried, cooked chickpeas)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 level tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 to 5 ladles cold water (or use stock of any kind that’s languishing in your freezer)
  • Coarse salt and black pepper
  • A small handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Directions

  • 1. To make the Smoked Paprika and Chickpea Soup in your slow cooker, see the Slow Cooker Variation below.

    To make the Smoked Paprika and Chickpea Soup on your stovetop, heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat and add the onion, garlic, celery, and rosemary. Sauté for a few minutes until the vegetables and aromatics begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • 2. Add the chickpeas, smoked paprika, bay leaves, tomato paste, and canned tomatoes to the pot and bring to a gentle boil. Add the water, season, and return to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • 3. Discard the bay leaves. Let the soup cool slightly and then process about half the mixture in a blender or with an immersion blender. Stir the purée back into the soup in the pot. Taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Reheat gently, if needed, and stir in the parsley. Ladle into warm bowls.

Slow Cooker Variation

  • Wouldn’t you know it? The simplest of soups becomes even simpler when made in a slow cooker. Follow step 1 of the instructions above, omitting the rosemary. Transfer the sautéed veggies to a slow cooker and stir in the tomato paste. Then add the chickpeas (we used canned chickpeas), paprika, bay leaves, diced tomatoes and their juice, water, salt, and pepper, and the sprig whole of rosemary (don’t worry, you can fish it out later). Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 8 hours. Discard the bay leaves and rosemary. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with the parsley.

    [Editor's Note: Bear in mind, no two slow-cookers are exactly alike, just as no two cooks are exactly alike. This slow-cooker approach worked really, really well for us, although if you have a different slow-cooker cooking technique you want to try by all means, do so. And, natch, we'd love if you'd share it with us in a comment below.]
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