Friday, January 13, 2012

1 Down, 364 To Go


I just got the new William Sonoma Soup of The Day cookbook with a gift card from Christmas and am off to an exciting start. I made the Chickpea & Roasted Tomato Soup with Fried Rosemary last night and loved it. It is the one pictured on the cover of the book. My husband thought it was ok but I thought it was deeeeeeeeeeeeeeelicious. I loved everything about it - the texture, the flavors, the hint of cinnamon, the fried rosemary. And, it was super easy to make.

Get the recipe here on page 9.

I used canned organic whole tomatoes since there's not a great tomato in town this time of year. They turned out great. I am going to roast canned tomatoes more often. I used homemade chicken stock because I think it makes soup taste better, but I don't think it's necessary for this recipe if you don't have any. I used dried garbanzo beans from the farmers market. I soaked them overnight, then cooked them shortly before adding to the soup. Turned out great.

A few tips on cooking with dried beans... according to the wise folks at Rancho Gordo (who sell great dried beans by the way!!!), the fresher the beans, the faster they cook. There is no regulation on dried beans so a lot of what is sold in grocery stores, whether packaged or in the bulk foods section, can be as many as 10 years old (even older they said). If you order beans from a good source, or buy dried beans at your local farmers market, they will be fresher and will cook much faster. Everything on the Internet said that dried, soaked beans would take 2-3 hours to cook but mine cooked up in 20-30 minutes. That makes a big difference when you're trying to cook a quick dinner and haven't done all the prep. 

Rancho Gordo also advises that you not put any salt in the water when you cook dried beans. Have you ever had a bean that would not cook? They say that salt is often to blame. It causes the beans to close up so they won't cook. They become dry and grainy on the inside instead of creamy and smooth. (Keep this in mind when you make any of my soup recipes that say to salt the water when cooking the beans. Hold off until your beans are fully cooked. I'm too lazy to update all my recipes.)

I love it when the first recipe from a cookbook is great. It gives you motivation to keep working your way through the book. Stay tuned to hear about more soups as I try to work my way through the other 364 recipes. It could take years.....

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