I am what some may consider a bit of a health nut or picky eater – I wouldn’t say I disagree. With the return from summer vacations and a few indulgences, as well as this week off from work, I decided to dedicate this week to healthy clean eating and exercise. I prefer using organic products in my cooking (insert comment about picky eater here). Not only does the food taste better, but in all reality it is better for your body. I like my food with no antibiotics, pesticides, or growth hormones thank you very much. Not only was this soup made with all organic food products, but it was also (mostly) vegetarian, it would have been completely vegetarian if I could have resisted topping my bowl of soup with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese, but a healthy girl can only be so good, you know? The garbanzo beans packed a punch of protein in this soup, and the cayenne pepper adds that strong spice that also kicks your metabolism into high drive, or so I have heard/read, and it can’t hurt to try!
You will need:
2 tablespoons of quality olive oil
1 organic red onion, peeled and diced
3 organic carrots, peeled and diced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Three 14 oz cans of organic garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
Two 32 oz boxes of organic vegetable broth or chicken broth
One 28 oz can of diced tomatoes with juice
1 Tablespoon of cayenne pepper (if you like things spicy like me go for 1 1/2 to 2 Tablespoons)
3 bay leaves
Sea salt and black pepper
Parmesan cheese to top
Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the red onion, carrots, garlic, and thyme. Give the vegetables a stir and let them heat through for a few minutes until they appear translucent and the aroma fills the kitchen.
Add the garbanzo beans, tomatoes in their juice, bay leaves, and cayenne pepper. Give another stir. Add the vegetable stock and season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat up and let the soup come to a boil. Reduce heat and let the soup simmer for twenty minutes.
Fish out those bay leaves and toss them away. Ladle soup into a bowl, let cool slightly, and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Feel free to add some hearty toasted whole grain bread, and enjoy.