Saturday, October 6, 2012

Super Fast: Piquillo Pepper and Chickpea Soup with Chicken

This soup took about 20 minutes to make, from start to finish.  It would have been even faster if I had used pre-cooked rotisserie chicken as the recipe suggested. I had to cook and shred a chicken breast.  I tossed some rice in my rice cooker while I was doing other stuff and it was ready to go when it was time to make dinner. The hummus is mostly in the soup for the creamy texture, the main flavor is from the piquillo peppers, which are different from normal roasted red peppers. They have a little bit of spice to them, but nothing so hot that this soup is off limits for the spice adverse.  If you like roasted, slightly spicy peppers, this is a fantastic work night soup that is made with relatively little effort.  I served it with a salad that I made while the soup was heating on the stove.
The Dowager Countess would not approve of my silverware placement.

As I usually do with soup recipes, I took a look at the amount of chicken stock for four servings (2 cups) and decided that halving the recipe would not make enough food for two people.  Of course, I was wrong.  I made the full recipe and it was a lot of food.  It was probably the right amount for my husband but it was a little much for me.  I would say that for two people, halve this recipe unless you are really hungry.  This soup is pretty healthy.  I know that the tahini in hummus has a lot of calories in it, but I don't think that's enough to say the soup is not healthy.  I used Wegmans plain hummus, which is 140 calories per 1/4 cup serving, 70 of which are from fat.

I used a blender instead of a food processor and it worked really well.  I think a good blender is better than a food processor for making smooth soups. When everything first started mixing, the soup was not bright orange, it was kind of a peachy color. It took a little while for it to turn orange. Definitely let the mixture puree long enough for the peppers to be well incorporated!

This soup could be made vegetarian by using vegetable stock and swapping out the chicken for something else, maybe chickpeas?

Piquillo Pepper and Chickpea Soup with Chicken
From Food and Wine
Serves 4

8 ounces drained piquillo peppers, plus two extra peppers
7 ounces store bought plain hummus
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup cooked white rice
1 cup shredded chicken
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Hot sauce (I used Tabasco)

1) If not using a rotisserie chicken, cook and shred 1 cup of chicken. If not using store bought rice, cook some rice or use left overs.  Slice the two extra piquillos into 1/4 inch thick strips for garnish.
2) In a blender or food processor, combine the 8 oz. of piquillos, hummus, and stock.  Puree until smooth.
3) Pour the soup into a saucepan and stir in the chicken, rice, salt, and pepper.  Heat until boiling.  Then ladel into bowls and garnish with parsley and sliced piquillos.  Put some hot sauce on the table to let each person add on their own.

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