Tag Archives: Soup

Soup Kitchen: Oaxaca Spicy Sopa de Garbanzo (Chickpea Soup)

We eat this delicious, rich and creamy soup at the home of our friends in Teotitlan del Valle.   Dolores, Federico’s wife, prepares it periodically for cena (late supper) accompanied by quesadillas.  With a cerveza (preferably Indio) we are in heaven.  At Las Granadas Bed and Breakfast, Josefina makes it for comida (lunch) as a first course served before the rice, beans and tamales.   I was reminded of it being one of my favorites this week when my friend and neighbor Kat brought a version to our women’s book club.  I’ve adapted here.

When finished, it should have the consistency of heavy cream.  But, no cream added!

Sopa de Garbanzo (Chickpea Soup)


2-1/2 lbs. dried organic garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

6 quarts water

1/4 cup olive oil

6 large garlic cloves, minced

1 T. dried red pepper flakes

1 large dried pasilla chile pepper, stemmed

1 stalk fresh rosemary or 2 t. dried whole rosemary

Juice of  2 large lemons

1 T. salt or more depending on taste

Optional:  1 cup chicken broth


8 quart stock pot, stainless steel (not aluminum)

10″ frying or sautee pan

Cuisinart or blender

Mixing bowl

Slotted spoon, long-handled wood spoon, soup ladle


Put dried garbanzo beans into stock pot.  Cover with water.  Bring to simmer, cover and continue cooking for 2-3 hours.  Note of caution: These beans take a LONG TIME to cook.  Leave yourself enough time.  I started cooking them in the evening, then turned by bean pot off and let them stand overnight.

Two-and-a-half pounds (+/-) of organic garbanzo beans cost me $1.79 per pound and the total cost came to $4.68.  If you are in a hurry, you can substitute pre-cooked and canned beans.

In a sautee pan, heat the olive oil over low heat.  Add pepper flakes, garlic, and dried pasilla chile pepper including seeds, breaking the chile into pieces as you add it.  I have fresh rosemary growing outside my kitchen door, so I just go out and snip off a stalk.  I added the whole stalk (about 8″ long).  You can use dried whole rosemary.  Turn burner up to medium.  Sautee peppery mixture until the garlic is just slightly browned and the pepper softens.

(Note about PASILLA: Also known as the chile negro. Literally “little raisin,” the pasilla is a dried chilaca chile. There is some confusion over the name of this chile in California and northern Mexico, the fresh poblano and its dried forms, the ancho and mulato, are referred to (mistakenly) as pasillas.)

In batches:  Remove cooked garbanzo beans with the slotted spoon and add to food processor or blender with enough of the liquid from the cooking broth to cover.  Add sauteed pepper mix.  Blend until smooth.  Pour into stock pot.  Continue procedure until all the beans and broth are blended.  Stir all mixture very well.  Add lemon juice and salt to taste.  Optional:  Add chicken broth for a richer flavor (of course, this alters the “vegetarian” state of the soup).

Yield:  8 quarts of soup.  Enough to eat all weekend, freeze, hold a potluck or give away!


Soup Kitchen: Spicy Red Chard, Spinach and Garlic Soup — Pure Vegetarian!

A hot winter soup a la Mexico — hot and spicy to the taste, hot to warm you on a cold frosty day — couldn’t be better as we curl up in front of the fire dreaming about being in Oaxaca.  We’ve been experimenting this week with a lot of vegetables we have on hand.  This is a made-up, “everything you can think of leftover in your vegetable bin” kind of soup.  It has no oil or meat — just pure vegetable goodness.  We use only organic vegetables.  Is this ever delicious? YES.  So, have at it!

Spicy Red Chard, Spinach and Garlic Soup in Talavera Uriarte bowl from Puebla


8 quart stock pot

Food processor

Wide slotted spoon

Mixing bowl


Long-handled spoon for stirring the pot

Soup ladle


5 cloves of garlic, peeled

1 onion, peeled, quartered

2 bunches fresh spinach, trimmed, cleaned

2 bunches fresh red chard, trimmed, cleaned

1 parsnip, peeled, cut into 3″ pieces

1 or 2 small beets, cleaned with greens intact

1 very large orange sweet potato, peeled, cut into 3″ pieces

1 head broccoli, cleaned, trimmed, including stalks

1 bunch celery, end cut off, cleaned, cut into 3″ pieces

1 box organic cream of tomato soup (Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods)

sea salt to taste; at least 1 T.

1 tsp. red cayenne pepper

2 Tb. turmeric

2 Tb. paprika

juice of 2 large lemons


In the food processor, combine garlic and onion and process until minced.  Set aside.

Soup Kitchen: Correcting the Seasoning

Add 6 qts. water to stock pot and bring to boil.  Add all the vegetables, submerging all of them under water.  Simmer over medium heat until root vegetables are cooked, about 10-15 minutes.  With the slotted spoon, remove vegetables from the broth to a mixing bowl.  You will have liquid broth at the bottom of the mixing bowl.  Transfer half the vegetables to the food processor and blend until a smooth puree.  Add remaining vegetables and stock and continue processing until smooth.  Add salt, paprika, cayenne pepper and turmeric.  Process to blend.  Pour mixture into mixing bowl.

Ladle puree back into vegetable stock that has remained in the stock pot.  Stir with long handled spoon.  Add cream of tomato soup.  To get all the soup out of the box, add water from the tap, swish around and pour liquid into stock pot.  Add lemon juice. Stir well.

Bring all to simmer.  Taste.  Correct seasoning by adding more salt if needed.  Garnish with a dollop of plain yogurt.

Serves 12.  Can be frozen.

This soup will be a bright forest green.  I leave this on the burner and sip on it throughout the day.  It is healthy, satisfying, enjoyable and low in calories.

Optional:  I added 1/2 can of vegetarian, organic refried beans that were leftovers in my refrigerator.  This served to thicken the soup and add a bit of bean soup taste to the mix.

Hint:  Try this method with carrots, cabbage, onions, garlic, leeks, scallions, potatoes, cauliflower and any other leftovers you have there in the veggie bin.  You would be amazed at what you can create!