Roasted Red Pepper and Chickpea Soup

This soup has so much flavour and is a beautiful rich colour.  It’s really delicious and warming.  Red peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C.  The chickpeas make it a bit thicker, more filling and add protein.  You can eat it smooth or, as I like to, add a few roasted chickpeas after blending to give it texture and a nice crunch.  I like it made with the chilli flakes  to make it a little spicy but you can leave them out if you like.  Roasting the peppers and slowly frying the shallots makes it taste really sweet and both my kids loved it!  It’s lovely served on its own or with some bread for dunking.  My 7 month old had some bread cut into fingers and dunked in the soup once it had cooled a little.

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Ingredients:

4 red bell peppers

Extra virgin olive oil

1 cup of cooked chickpeas (optional)

3 shallots

2 cloves of garlic

A dash of chilli flakes (optional)

1 litre vegetable stock (can use low salt version for kids and add more salt to adult portions, I use Kallo very low salt vegetable stock cubes)

1/2 a cup of cooked chickpeas

Fresh coriander leaf (cilantro)

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How it’s made:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Deseed the peppers and cut them in half.  Arrange them on a baking tray, skin side down.  Drizzle with about 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.

If doing the roasted chickpeas, put 1 cup of cooked chickpeas on a baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and roast in the oven with the red peppers.

Meanwhile, heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over a low heat.  Peel and dice the shallots.  Peel and slice the garlic.  Add the chilli flakes.  Add to the saucepan, and fry gently on a very heat while the peppers roast, stirring occasionally.

When the peppers are done, take them out of the oven and chop them roughly.

Add the red peppers and 1/2 cup of cooked chickpeas (not the roasted ones) to the saucepan, just cover with vegetable stock, and bring to the boil.

Remove from the heat, and using a hand blender or normal blender, blend the soup until smooth.

If you are adding the roasted chickpeas, then mix them in now after blending.  Check the seasoning and add salt or pepper if desired.

Serve the soup with a little coriander leaf on top.

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