This soup was inspired by the first chilly day of September and a bag of dried chickpeas in the cupboard that were calling my name. Its influences are a mélange of African, Middle Eastern (in the sense that it’s a chunky stew) and Italian thanks to its tomato base. The beauty of this soup lies in its simplicity. The bite of the chevre marries perfectly with the blandness of plain tomato sauce – the kind in a can and not loaded with sugars and oils. A flurry of spices and other extras aren’t necessary. Just let it be simple.
Sure, this is a deliciously thick soup. And it’s also healthy fast food that can be thrown together in under 30 minutes if you have two cans of Chickpeas (also called Garbanzos) on hand. It gets its creaminess from a log of chevre, and added substance from sautéed cherry tomatoes, thrown in at the end. Even my 18-year-old fast-food aficionado loves this one. It’s easy, inexpensive, and most of all, healthy. You’ll feel both satisfied and loved after a bowl of this. Guaranteed.
3 cups of cooked Chickpeas (if reconstituting dried beans from the bag) or 2 cans drained Chickpeas
1 4-5 ounce log of Chevre (goat cheese), room temperature
1 container of cherry tomatoes
1 32-ounce can of tomato sauce (no sugar or oil added) I like Tutto Rosso brand
1 tablespoon of butter for sautéing the cherry tomatoes.
In a medium frying pan, melt butter then add rinsed cherry tomatoes. Cook over medium heat until their skin wrinkles a bit or they pop. They should be shrunken, not charred. In a larger stockpot, cook tomato sauce over medium heat for two minutes then add chevre. Whisk gently until blended and sauce becomes a creamy orange color. Add the Chickpeas. Then add the cherry tomatoes and stir gently, don’t whisk or they tomatoes may break apart. Heat until just bubbling and serve immediately.