Firstly, some good news for my kooky readers. Since embarking on the alternate-day-soup regime inspired by my friend Fatima’s soup recipe 12 days back, I have lost 1.5 kgs (3.3 lbs).
Before that, I had hit a frustrating weight loss plateau and was finding it really difficult to lose those last few kilos. So, imagine my pleasant surprise when the weighing scale started moving in the right direction once again!
The best part is that I am really enjoying experimenting with different soup recipes and actually look forward to my soup dinners. I never imagined that they could be so much fun. Soups and broths are my new best friends and likely to become long term companions.
If you are looking to shift a few pounds, you may like to join me in my alternate day soup diet. Now may not be the right time with all the festive partying (although I am doing it in reverse order, lose weight now in anticipation of Christmas and New Year indulgences). But maybe after the New Year, once the celebrations are over?! (Note: I am not a doctor; always seek advice from a medical professional before attempting to lose weight.)
Coming to today’s recipe, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Carrots and Chickpeas form the team of four ‘C’s to provide a totally yummylicious soupy experience.
don’t go by looks – what this soup lacks in appearance, it more than makes up in terms of taste and full bodied flavour
This cauliflower, cabbage, carrot and chickpea soup (what a mouthful!) does require a bit of preparation beforehand in terms of soaking the chickpeas and “moisturising” the onions. I wanted to add onions for texture and flavour but didn’t want to use any oil so I used salt to moisturise them for a few hours and let them sweat in their own juices. Was pleasantly surprised to see how meltingly soft they turned.
Allspice powder provides the hint of spice and fragrance needed to combat the smell of onions, cabbage and cauliflower.
2-3 Tablespoons dry chickpeas*
2 Cups water
Half head of small cabbage
1 small cauliflower
A generous pinch of powdered allspice*
One vegetable stock cube
Freshly pounded blackpepper
Salt to taste
- Wash and soak chickpeas about 8 to 10 hours before you want to make the soup.*
- Wash and slice the onions. Add some salt, mix, cover and set aside for 3 to 4 hours before you want to make the soup.
- Boil the cabbage and cauliflower, puree and set aside. If you have any water remaining after boiling the vegetables, keep it.
- When you are ready to make the soup, transfer the onions and any moisture clinging to them into a soup pot (or equivalent).
- Now, place the pot on a burner and turn on the heat to low.
- Cover and let the onions cook in their own juices for about 10 minutes till they become soft.
- While the onions are cooking, wash and coarsely grate the carrots.
- Uncover the soup pot and add water (or water from boiled cabbage and cauliflower) along with the chickpeas, stock cube, allspice powder and pounded peppercorns. Turn the heat to high.
- Once the water starts boiling, add the grated carrots, cover and let this simmer for about 45 minutes till the chickpeas are cooked.
- Lastly, add the pureed cauliflower and cabbage. Check for salt and water and add more if either seem insufficient.
- Bring to boil and let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Serve hot.
- You can use canned chickpea if you prefer in which case reduce the cooking time from 45 minutes to about 10 minutes. However, if you have time, I would strongly recommend that you go down the soaking and boiling route. Chickpeas cooked in vegetable stock and allspice are more flavoursome.
- If, like me, you forget to soak the chickpeas 8 hours before hand, use this time saving method to speed up the soaking process (it’s what I did this time).
- If you don’t have allspice powder, no problem. Use some grated nutmeg and cinnamon powder instead.
Here’s step-by-step pictorial of how I cooked this cauliflower, cabbage, carrot and chickpea soup.
Step 1: Onions moisturised with salt
Step 2: Onions sweating in own moisture over stove on low heat
Step 3: Add chickpeas and water along with stock cube, allspice powder and pounded peppercorns
Step 4: Add carrots
Step 5: Let chickpeas cook
Step 6: Add pureed cabbage and cauliflower
- Ingredient Spotlight: Cauliflower (williams-sonoma.com)
- Recipe Roundup: Fall Soups (williams-sonoma.com)
- Two Great Soup Recipes For Weight Loss (weightlossfasttips.com)