Soups must be most at home in the Canadian fall – the cold hands and rosy cheeks, shorter days and greyer skies, all pull us back to soup. And after the gluttony of Thanksgiving, the single-dish simplicity of a hearty bowl of soup holds significant appeal. This chunky soup is wholesome, packed with flavour, and beautiful in the bowl. Thanks for another winner, Yotam; I loved it.
Notes: While I used sourdough bread as per the recipe, I imagine the final product would be just as good with whatever bread you keep on hand, or (for the gluten-free or no-bread-in-my-soup-thank-you-very-much of you) without any bread at all. And while I love the spoonful of pesto (and may be adding it to all my soups forevermore), the soups holds its own without it; consider it an optional addition. And as a final note, while this is a vegetarian recipe, should you find yourself with an overwhelming amount of leftover turkey, consider adding some in Step 1 when you add the tomatoes.
Chickpea, Tomato & Bread Soup
slightly adapted from Plenty
1 large onion, sliced
1 medium fennel bulb, sliced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 large carrot, peeled, cut lengthwise, & sliced
3 celery stalks, sliced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup white wine
1 28-oz can whole tomatoes
1 tbsp chopped oregano
2 tbsp thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
2 tsp sugar
4 1/2 cup vegetable stock
salt & pepper
2 large slices of sourdough bread, crusts removed
2 1/2 cup chickpeas (cooked or canned), crushed
4 tbsp pesto (optional)
1. In your largest soup pot, heat 3 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add onion & fennel and saute for ~4 minutes before adding carrots & celery. Stirring occasionally, allow to cook for another 4 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir vegetables to coat. Pour in the white wine and simmer for a minute or two before adding the entire tin of canned tomatoes, the oregano, thyme & bay leaves, sugar, stock, and salt & pepper. Bring to a boil and cover, reducing heat to medium-low. Let the soup simmer for at least 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, tear the sourdough into bite-sized pieces. Place them in a bowl with 2 tbsp olive oil and a good sprinkling of salt; toss to coat. Spread the bread chunks on a baking tray and roast in the oven at 350 degrees until dry and crunchy (about 10 minutes). Set aside.
3. 10 minutes pre-serving: Add the crushed chickpeas and continue simmering for 5 minutes. Add toasted bread, stir, and cook for the final 5 minutes. Season further with salt & pepper to taste. Serve each bowl of soup with a spoonful of pesto and drizzle of olive oil overtop.