This soup is very green and the very thing my body has been craving in this cold weather. It's vibrancy and nutritional density wake my body back up, even fooling it into thinking we're much closer to spring than we really are. It takes no time at all to make and relies mostly on frozen vegetables, which are wonderful to keep on hand when you think you may be snowed in. I chose to thicken the soup and tone down the vegetal flavor with cashews that simmer gently right along with the rest of the vegetables before everything gets blitzed smooth. A squeeze of lemon juice brightens it all up at the end. And to top it all off, we've got some crisped chickpeas. Lemon zest and some dried spices perk up some cooked garbanzos and a little time in a skillet makes them addictingly crunchy.
Three Greens Soup with Crisped Chickpeas
2 T. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
4 1/2 c. (16 oz.) frozen broccoli, no need to thaw
2 c. (8 oz.) frozen green peas, no need to thaw
1 1/2 c. (6 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, no need to thaw
2 T. miso paste (I used yellow, but any type will do)
2/3 c. raw cashews
2 1/2 c. water
1 t. salt
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 T. olive oil
scant 2 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 15.5oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. dry mustard
1/4 t. paprika
1/4 t. garlic powder
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 t. salt
Begin with the soup. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the diced onions and garlic, reduce heat to medium and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the onions soften and start to turn a little golden along the edges. Add the frozen vegetables, miso paste, cashews, water, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, and reduce heat to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Meanwhile, prepare the chickpeas. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Dry the chickpeas thoroughly with a kitchen towel or paper towels. This is really important so that the chickpeas can really crisp up as oppose to steam. Toss the chickpeas in a bowl with the cumin, dry mustard, paprika, and garlic powder. Add to the skillet, and stir to coat the chickpeas with the oil. Allow chickpeas to crisp and brown in spots, tossing occasionally. After about 20 minutes, remove the skillet from the heat, toss the chickpeas with the zest of 1 lemon and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Set aside.
After the vegetables have softened, puree the mixture in a blender, food processor, or using an immersion blender. I find that the blender gives the best results, but I usually have to do it in batches. Return the soup to the pot. When your desired smoothness is reached, add the juice of 1 lemon to the pot, stir to combine, and taste to adjust for salt and pepper. Top the soup with crisped chickpeas and enjoy! Serves 4-6 people.