This decadent-tasting soup is low in fat, high in flavour and quite able to convert bean naysayers with its charm. Just a drizzle of truffle oil (or any good-quality flavoured oil) makes this soup sing.
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 leek, (white part only), finely chopped
1 tbsp rosemary, (or 1 tsp dried)
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, or chicken broth (about one 1-L pkg)
1 540-mL can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 2 cups home-cooked)
1 1/2 cups peeled, diced red-skinned potatoes
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
truffle oil, or flavoured oil
Heat a large pot on medium low and add oil. Once it starts to shimmer, add garlic, carrots, celery, leek and rosemary. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden and fragrant. Add stock, chickpeas, potatoes and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, for 25 minutes. Remove bay leaves and purée soup with an immersion blender, or in a food processor or blender. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with truffle or flavoured oil, and garnish with croutons.
Tip: If you prefer a slightly chunky soup or you want to garnish this creamy blend with a dollop of texture, reserve 1 cup before you blend it, then mix back into the puréed soup.
Garlic croutons: Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Press garlic into a small bowl and, using a fork, mash with salt, then blend in olive oil. Baste each slice of bread with garlic mixture, arrange on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
Herbs de Provence: Can't find it on store shelves? It's easy to make on your own. Combine and store in an airtight jar.