Sweet Potato Soup with Spiced Chickpeas {vegan}

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Sometimes when my husband gets home from work, he cracks open a beer, kicks off his shoes, and opens up a container of…wait for it…cottage cheese.

Don’t worry, there isn’t cottage cheese in this soup. I only bring it up because I think it’s interesting to notice the little things people eat when no one is really watching.

I think Laura Colwin puts it best when she says: “Dinner alone is one of life’s pleasures. Certainly cooking for oneself reveals man at his weirdest.”

I mean, don’t get me wrong, cottage cheese is tasty, but it is kind of an odd snack to pair with beer.

But that’s all a matter of perspective, isn’t it? Once something becomes a normal part of your day, it goes unquestioned. Think about cereal in milk. What makes it breakfast? What makes anything specifically a breakfast food? Isn’t it mostly tradition? I eat Fruit Loops for breakfast and therefore cereal in milk is a breakfast food? I’m sure we can thank mid-century advertising agencies. (I’ve been watching a lot of Mad Men.)

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Lately, I’ve been craving soup for breakfast. And by craving, I mean waking up and immediately thinking, “soup.” I’m like one of those little seagulls in Finding Nemo that can only say, “Mine?”.

And it’s not just any soup. It has to be either a broth with nothing very heavy duty in it (like a miso soup), or a purée. Toppings are allowed, but no huge vegetables chunks or anything like that.

For example, this silky, warming sunchoke apple soup I got from a stall (Crav!) at the farmers market a few weeks ago. Or this sweet potato soup with spiced chickpea topping that I made after enjoying a similar soup from the same stall at the farmers market.

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So I won’t lie to you. I ate this sweet potato soup for breakfast the first time I made it. And then I froze a bunch of it so I can thaw it overnight and eat it for breakfast for weeks to come.

Even if you’re not having a strange soup-for-breakfast phase like me, this soup is for you. It’s warming, starchy, and topped with spiced chickpeas and a swirl of hummus. And you can make this with things you’ll probably have around: sweet potatoes, broth, a few dry spices, some parsley, and packaged hummus (OR homemade delicious hummus, like this).

Oh yeah, and it freezes well. Or should I say, it thaws well?

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Sweet Potato Soup with Sesame-Spiced Chickpeas
Serves 2 as a main dish and 4 as a starter or side dish

1 Tablespoon coconut oil
2 cloves garlic (whole)
3 cups sweet potato (about 2 average sweet potatoes)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup white onion, diced small
2 ½ cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup parsley (optional)
¼ cup hummus (storebought, or this recipe)

Crispy Sesame Chickpeas
1 Tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 425º F. Scrub sweet potatoes and slice in half lengthwise. Coat with coconut oil and place cut-side down on a baking sheet, along with the whole, unpeeled garlic cloves. Roast for 20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes slide off a knife when prodded and the garlic cloves are crispy on the outside and soft inside. When cooled slightly, peel off skins and chop into rough cubes. Gently peel away skins from garlic.
  2. Meanwhile, sauté onions in olive oil over medium-high heat for 3 minutes, just until translucent and soft. Add paprika, cumin, red pepper flakes, and salt. Sauté 1 minute more.
  3. Remove pot from heat. Add sweet potatoes to the onions, along with 2 cups of the vegetable stock and purée with an immersion blender until smooth. Alternately, turn out into a blender or food processor to purée. Add up to ½ cup (remaining) stock to reach desired consistency. Cover the pot and bring to a low simmer.
  4. To make the chickpeas, heat grapeseed oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Toss in chickpeas, sesame seeds, paprika, cumin, red pepper flakes, and salt, and continue tossing or stirring every few moments until chickpeas are crispy, about 5 minutes.
  5. Chop the parsley, and whisk 2 Tablespoons of water into the hummus.
  6. To serve, ladle the soup into 2 deep bowls. Drizzle hummus over the soup and sprinkle with chickpeas and fresh parsley. Serve immediately.

6 comments

  1. Ooooh, Randle, this looks so good! I love sweet potato soup and make it quite often, but my go-to recipe calls for toasted peanuts on top. I really love the idea of chickpeas and spice. The smell, the texture, c’est magnifique. Though I probably wouldn’t crave it for breakfast I must admit I am not surprised that you do, as I can crave all sorts of “weird” things for my own breakfast!

    1. Thanks, Darya! I hope you get a chance to try it. I just saw your blood pudding egg en cocotte and I’m just wishing I could transport myself to France and taste it!!

  2. I ate this! It was DELICIOUS !!!

    1. Thank you!!

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