Well hello soup. Glorious soup. If there’s ever a meal that is just pure comfort, it’s soup. Especially a warm, steaming bowl of thick soup, none of that from a can stuff, proper homemade soup. I love making soup, the possibilities are endless and it can be whipped up in under half an hour most of the time, how good is that? This soup is a little more fancy… but TOTALLY worth it!
So what makes this soup extra special is the fact that it’s thick and creamy without adding any cream! This means it doesn’t have that uncomfortable heaviness that a lot of cream based soups have. In fact, this soup uses quinoa as a thickening agent. If you’ve never had quinoa before, it’s a small round grain, fairly similar to rice, but much more rich in protein. So bonus points for this being a super nutrient dense soup! Also, if you are a vegetarian like me, quinoa is a fab way to eat more protein.
Do you find fresh vegetables as exciting as I do? Like seriously, I’d eat broccoli raw. Well, I do eat broccoli raw. Have you ever tried it? It’s amazing! Anyway I picked this broccoli up at the local grocery store from the huge fresh veggie section at the front. I absolutely love the supermarkets here, I know I go on about it all the time, but it’s just that good! I like to steam the broccoli rather than boil it before it’s blended, because it holds in more flavour, colour and nutrients. The soup will only be as good as what goes into it, so by preserving as much of the broccoli as we can in the cooking process, we’re making sure the soup is going to be as delicious as it can be!
Then, can we just take a moment to talk about roasted chickpeas? I think they deserve their own paragraph, maybe even their own blog post?! These little gems are the tastiest version of chickpeas I think I’ve ever had! And trust me, I LOVE chickpeas. They are cooked until they are little crispy, spicy balls, absolutely perfect for topping this thick soup. The contrast is texture is extra special!
A bowl of this soup on it’s own would be perfect… but add the chickpeas, some creme fraische, some olive oil, fresh spring onions and the roasted chickpeas and THAT’S a party in a bowl! Yes, after I had photographed this I did eat all three bowls… oops?
Let me know in the comments what your favourite kind of soup is, and also if you give this recipe a go!
This soup has also been featured in the Netflights online Taste of My Country magazine! Check it out here!
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Broccoli and Quinoa Soup with Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
For the Roasted Chickpeas
1 Can Chickpeas (drained and thoroughly rinsed)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
1/4 Teaspoon Chilli Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
For the Soup
2-3 Heads of Broccoli (3 if they are small)
1 White Onion Finely Chopped
5 Cloves of Garlic Minced
Zest of 1 Lemon
Juice of 1 Lemon
45g Quinoa (dry weight)
20g Parmesan Cheese (grated)
1 cup (250ml) vegetable stock
1 cup (250ml) quinoa cooking water
Handful of Fresh Parseley (chopped)
For the Toppings
Finely Chopped Spring Onion
Drizzle of Olive Oil
Drizzle of Creme Fraische
First, Roast the Chickpeas
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drain and thoroughly rinse the chickpeas and blot dry with a paper towel. Remove any skins that come loose. Toss the chickpeas in a bowl with the olive oil and spices until they are evenly coated.
2. Spread the chickpeas in an even layer on the parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Then bake for a further 15 minutes and allow to cool completely. The two bakings and cooling in between helps the chickpeas become crunch and not soggy. Set aside until you are ready to serve. These will keep in an airtight container for a long time.
To make the Soup
1. Cook the quinoa in a saucepan for around 25-27 minutes. You want it to be slightly overcooked as it will act as the thickening agent for the soup, so the extra starch helps. When cooked, blend the quinoa on a high speed with 1 cup (250ml) of the cooking water until you have a very thick, smooth mixture, around 1 minute. Set aside.
2. Chop the broccoli into small florets and steam until cooked. You can boil it if you don’t have a steamer, but steaming is preferable to maintain as much flavour as possible.
3. In a large pot, add some olive oil and saute the onion on a low heat until translucent. Add the lemon zest and minced garlic and cook for another minute. Add the broccoli and cook for another two minutes. Finally add the chopped parsely and stir.
4. Add the broccoli mixture, quinoa mixture, vegetable stock, lemon juice and parmesan cheese to the blender. Blend on a high speed until you have a smooth, thick soup.
For the toppings
1. Once the soup is in a bowl, add a dollop of creme fraische and swirl with a spoon. Drizzle some olive oil over the top, add the freshly topped spring onions and some of the roasted chickpeas. Serve while hot.
Notes: This soup is very thick, if you like your soup a bit thinner, add more vegetable stock until you have the consistency you like.
While this soup is delicious on it’s own, it is the toppings that pull it altogether and create a really special dish.
The soup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 6 days, and can be frozen for up to 3 months.