Sunday 23 October 2016

Donal Skehan gets souped up: Tomato & Chickpea Soup

Donal Skehan

Published 24/01/2016 | 02:30

Tomato and Chickpea Soup
Tomato and Chickpea Soup

This hearty soup is packed full of flavour — the perfect comfort food for January.

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Tomato and Chickpea Soup

A simple soup, no matter how humble the ingredients, can be a thing of true beauty, especially on a cold, January day. The best thing about making soups from scratch is just how adaptable they are. You can chop and change the recipe depending on what you have and this recipe takes the classic tomato soup up a gear in the flavour stakes! Serves 2-4

You will need

200g raw chorizo sausage, halved lengthways and sliced

1 large onion, chopped

225g celery, chopped

300g carrots, chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp mild chilli powder

½ tsp ground cumin

1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

750ml vegetable stock (from a cube is OK)

1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to garnish


Fry the chorizo in a large pan over a medium heat until it is golden and has released its lovely spicy oil. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the onion, celery and carrots to the chorizo oil in the pan, reduce the heat and gently fry for another 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, chilli powder and cumin and fry for a further minute. Add the tomatoes and stock, stir well and season with a little salt and pepper.

Add the chorizo and chickpeas to the pan, holding back a handful for a garnish, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, then blitz with a hand-held stick blender until smooth. Ladle into bowls and add a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, the reserved chorizo and chickpeas, a good grinding of black pepper, and a little chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley to serve.

Harissa Paste

Harissa paste is a fiery north African spice paste that consists of peppers, dried red chillies, garlic, caraway seeds, ground cumin and coriander, tomato purée, salt and olive oil. It’s fantastic in curries, stews and baked eggs. Pick it up in most supermarkets and speciality food stores.

Sundried Tomato Pesto

A dollop of this spread on crusty sourdough and served alongside a bowl of my Tomato & Chickpea Soup is a real treat! Place 250g of sundried tomatoes, 75g skinless almonds, 1 garlic clove, finely chopped, 100ml extra-virgin olive oil, 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp cayenne pepper and a generous pinch of sea salt into a food processor. Blitz until you have a smooth pesto. If the mixture is too thick, loosen with a little more olive oil.

Superfood Snacks by  Julie Morris

One of the hardest parts about healthy eating for me is avoiding sweet hits! I find the best way to battle the sugar monsters is to have healthy snacks to hand when you want a hit of something sweet. Superfood Snacks is a brilliant little book by New York Times best-selling author Julie Morris. The book is filled with 100 energising, nutrient-dense, but, most importantly, delicious recipes like banana bon bons and ginger rum fudge. See:

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