I know what you’re thinking.
Soup in the summertime? Isn’t it too hot for that?
Generally, yes. But if you live in or near San Francisco, you know that summer weather can be pretty finicky, as in – sometimes it’s cloudy and 60 degrees in July.
That was the case this weekend – I remember telling the husband that it felt like Thanksgiving weather. That gloomy, colder than usual, makes you want to curl up with a blanket and a good book type of weather.
So naturally, we were in the mood for soup.
Instead of a hearty, stick-to-your-bones stew, I opted for a lighter soup using one of my favorite spring/summer vegetables: Asparagus.
The husband likes vegetable soups, and he likes asparagus, but he doesn’t like vegetable soups that are more stock based (he prefers creamy vegetable soups – shocking right? 😉 ). So I wanted to figure out how to make a creamy vegetable soup without using heavy cream.
What did I swap in for cream?
Yes, chickpeas, and it worked beautifully! The husband said that the soup was super creamy and had a great consistency. And instead of all the fat & calories that comes from using heavy cream, we got a ton of lean protein and fiber from the chickpeas. Win win.
I did add a dollop of herbed goat cheese at the end though, I mean, you have to have a little bit of decadence right? Just 1/2 a tablespoon did the trick.
The Ingredients (inspired by this recipe from The Duo Dishes)
- 3/4-1 lb asparagus spears, trimmed and chopped in 1 inch pieces
- 5 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 10 green onions, chopped
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 15 ounces chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1/2-3/4 cup flat parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted and finely chopped
- Herbed Goat Cheese (1/2 to 1 Tbsp per bowl of soup
- 1/4-1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)
- Tons of black pepper to taste
- 1/8-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (for some kick)!
Step 1: Chop your veggies. In a large pot, add olive oil, onions and garlic over medium heat. Let mixture sweat, but do not let the garlic burn.
Step 2: Once the onions have turned translucent (about 5 min), add the stock and chickpeas. Increase heat to medium high allow come to a boil. Add asparagus and cooks until tender but not limp. Add half of parsley, and all the spices (salt, pepper, crushed red pepper) and stir until incorporated.
Step 3: Blend ingredients (I used an immersion/hand blender which worked great – I just took the pot off the heat and blended it in right in the pot!) If you don’t have a hand blender, you can use a regular blender, you just have to puree it in batches. Once you’ve pureed the soup, add lemon juice, parsley and pine nuts. Continue to blend until combined.
Step 4: Add salt and black pepper to taste, top with 1/2 to 1 Tbsp herbed goat cheese.
It’s like a one pot meal: you get protein from the chickpeas and cheese, fiber from the chickpeas and asparagus, and just a great herby-freshness from the parsley and asparagus.
It’s also extremely easy to make – you can have this on the table in under 30 minutes. And because of that, it’s a weekend meal that can also moonlight as a weekday meal.