By David Harbilas
Pureed vegetable soups are some of my favorite soups to make and eat.
They’re also very easy to make, which makes me wonder why they aren’t seen more at restaurants.
I think a lot of people are afraid of ending up with a very thin, flavorless puree, rather than one that is silky, quite thick and full-flavored.
The secret is really not much of a secret: don’t use too much liquid.
Essentially, it’s better to use too little liquid rather than too much, since you can always add liquid in the pureeing stage of the recipe. And as far as flavor goes, just use a well made stock as a base for the soup. It’s hard to make a bad soup from a good stock.
Makes about Â½ gallon
3 cans chickpeas
6 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup white wine
4 cups chicken stock, plus some as needed
Â½ cucumber, seeded and roughly chopped
Â½ cup plain yogurt
10 mint leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Place the tomatoes, cut side up, on a sheet pan and drizzle with some olive oil and season with a little salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes for 1 hour, or until shriveled and still juicy. Meanwhile, heat about 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sautÃ© for about 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and cayenne pepper and cook for 30 seconds. Add the white wine and reduce by half.
Add the chickpeas, honey, and tomatoes. Pour in enough chicken stock to just cover the vegetables. Simmer the soup for 45 minutes, then cool slightly. Using either an immersion blender or conventional stand blender, puree the soup until smooth. If necessary, add more chicken stock to make a smooth but still thick puree. To make the yogurt sauce, place the cucumber, mint and yogurt in a blender and puree until smooth. Serve the soup hot with a drizzle of the yogurt sauce.