Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Garbanzo & Celery Soup With Gremolada

Soup today! Healthy soup. Sorry if this disappoints those who read my blog for a vicarious sugar rush.

I did try to deliver, spending my morning hand-pulling some gorgeous twisted hard candies. However, I decided that blogging about how to make these treats would be unwise. I managed to burn myself while handling the pulled sugar, even with my layers of gloves.

Sure, handling hot sugar is dangerous by default but I've decided that trying to handle hard candy is crazy dangerous for most home cooks (including myself). It isn't the same as handling something like taffy, which you can work with your bare hands.

I don't want to post a recipe where I need to recommend having your local hospital's burn unit on speed dial.

Hence we're posting my lunch today.

This is how I balance my diet, what with all the testing and tasting of sweets I do in my kitchen, I need to fill up on something healthy. Being hungry in my kitchen is dangerous. To prevent myself from stuffing cake and pastry into my face all afternoon, I'm in the habit of arming myself with delicious, healthy soups.

So the gremolada, for those unfamiliar, is a mixture of chopped parsley, lemon zest and garlic that gives this soup a fresh zip. It is delicious and balances the mellow earthiness of the beans and vegetables. For non-fans of garbanzos, feel free to substitute with your legume of choice. Just be sure that they are tender and cooked before adding them to the soup.

Garbanzo & Celery Soup With Gremolada

adapted from the Vegetarian Bible
serves 4
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 cup (200g) canned garbanzo beans
1 russet potato, finely chopped
14 ounces (398ml) canned diced tomatoes
3 3/4 cups (900ml) vegetable stock*
salt and fresh ground pepper
(optional: dash of ground cumin and ground coriander)

for the gremolada:
1/4 cup (7g) chopped flat leaf parsley
zest of one lemon
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

* Use a flavorful vegetable stock, particuarly homemade, it makes all the difference in your soups. It is easy to make at home and freezes beautifully.

In a large sauce pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat and cook the onion until translucent. Add the celery and cook for 5 more minutes then add the beans and potato. Cook for a further 5 minutes.

Add the stock and canned tomatoes and bring the minute to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 45-50 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper. If using, add the dash of cumin and coriander now.

To make the gremolada, combine the ingredients and stir into the soup just before serving. Allow to stand 1-2 minutes and then serve hot.

To make the soup in advance: Refrigerate or freeze the soup without the gremolada. Make the gremolada up fresh and add it before serving.


Nutrition info, per serving:
Calories 170, protein 6g, fat 8g (saturated fat 1g), carbohydrates 21g


  1. That's too bad you burn yourself. But show us the fruit of your hard labour! Share with us :)

  2. Sounds delicious! I love garbanzo beans and I bet the gremolata brings a nice punch of flavors.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Your broccoli soup is one of my very favorite recipes. This one looks like a hit too. I love pies and cookies as much as the next person, but post more soups!

  4. I totally have a vicarious sugar rush when I read your blog, love it. But I'm willing to concede a day or two of sugar for a tasty soup like this one! (Besides, I made cheesecake :) )

  5. Healthy food?! I'm having an odd and unusual, but not unpleasant, feeling of motherly satisfaction.

  6. Odd and unusual?!

    Just a heads up, your Christmas gift has now been downgraded to a hot pink Snuggie.

    Also, can you email me your chocolate mascarpone frosting recipe? I want to give it a whirl.

  7. Looks good Ms. H. I love anything with pulses/legumes. The simplicity of this dish is wonderful and although I've never tasted gremolada, I can imagine how good it is with the hearty soup.

    Also, sorry to hear about your burns. I have a recipe for that from the Hope and Greenwood book and it looks amazing but I really don't have the balls to try it out at home. Respect to you for giving it a go :)

  8. balancing the sweets is good advice for all of us…& since "soup season" is upon us i am eager to make this as it sounds delicious!

    heal quickly!

  9. I'd love to see more of your healthy recipes since I've definitely tried way too many of the unhealthy but oh-so-tasty ones!

  10. As a baker by profession, I also find myself in a dangerous and hungry position every day. My usual "get me through this 8-hour shift of whipped cream, chocolate, and butter" healthy fare is brown rice with lots of fresh broccoli sprouts, liquid aminos, and pumpkin seeds. Boring perhaps, but easy, filling, and quite tasty.

  11. Sounds absolutely delicious, and I'll try it, soon. At least there's no problem finding the ingredients. Thankfully (calorie-wise, anyway), ingredients in many sweets recipes on-line are not available where I am. For some, I've found substitutes, for others, I haven't (too lazy? not possible?).

  12. I'm really sorry to hear you burned your hands, but I'm happy it gave the soup a chance to get highlighted. We had soup for dinner tonight and it was Sooooo Gooood! (My husband even packed some to take to work tomorrow and asked me to make it again! That NEVER happens with soup!) I've never had gremolada before, and it really made the soup tasty! Thanks again for sharing!

  13. Hi, sounds yummy, but there's no celery in the recipe! How much do you use?


  14. "3 stalks celery, finely chopped"

    I see it above... it should be there in the recipe.

    However, there is a bug in Blogger when I edit to fix errors in the post (I did omit the celery in the first draft) they don't always show up in the #more section.

    Anyway, three stalks and you're good to go.

  15. I was feeling under the weather on Friday so I made a big pot of this stuff... it was absolutely perfect. I did throw in a handful of spinach towards the end of the cooking for some extra veggie goodness. Thanks Ms. H, this stuff is delicious!

  16. I made this soup for lunch on Tuesday and it was fantastic, although I think I accidentally put in too many beans... I just tossed in the whole can. It was still fantastic.

    I would love it if you wrote about how to make good stock, though. For some reason, the idea of making my own stock or broth terrifies me. And I'm not terribly certain of the difference between them either.

  17. Thank You So Much for your recipe. I changed it just slightly by adding carrots and making a smaller portion. It's SO Yummy. My husband even liked it, and he is super picky. I love soups but it's hard to come up with new ideas for yummy soups my husband will also like. Found you through a post from Pinterest. I'm so grateful for that site, now I'm finding great ideas to make healthy but tasty meals at home.


Related Posts with Thumbnails