Early summer vegetable soup

With the temperatures in New York City inching higher every day, soon it will be too hot and humid for me to want to make soup. Most of my summer soup intake involves some version of a vegetarian cold borscht, or oftentimes none at all. With the oppressive sticky heat of a New York summer, the last thing I wish for is to be warmed up from the inside.

Yet on these last few cool nights of early summer, a light vegetable soup is the perfect meal. Serve it with fresh crusty bread for a delicious supper. A glass of wine would also be a good accompaniment.

1 cup of dry chickpeas, soaked overnight

1 large beefsteak tomato

1 large onion

2 cloves of garlic

3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes

two handfulls (or as much as you like) of baby spinach, rinsed

1-2 tablespoons olive oil for sauteing

salt and pepper

Rinse the soaked chickpeas and place in a large pot. Add enough cold water to cover the chickpeas with about two inches of of liquid. Add salt and bring to a boil, and simmer for about an hour to hour and a half, until cooked. This can be done the night before, but do not discard the chickpea liquid,  which will be a delicious addition to the soup.

Heat up the olive oil in a large stainless steel pot. Finely chop up onions and garlic and saute in olive oil. Pour boiling water over the tomato and let stand for a few minutes. Carefully remove the tomato and peel (the skin should come off easily).

Chop up the tomato into small dice and add to the pot with onions and garlic. Add salt and pepper, and cook until you have what resembles a thick sauce, about 15 minutes.

Chop the potatoes into small dice and add to the pot. Add chickpeas and their liquid. Add more water if needed. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are cooked through and tender.

Add spinach and cook for a few minutes until the spinach is wilted but still green. The soup went very well with the fresh bakery rolls we picked up earlier in the day!

Early summer vegetable soup

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