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Gypsy Soup

February 2, 2011

I’ve recently made a personal commitment to eat vegetarian at least once a week. Now, I say ‘commitment’ but that word to me is synonymous with ‘difficult’ or ‘I don’t really want to do it but I said I would’ and conjures up images of shackles and straight jackets. And that’s not how I feel about this decision at all. I’m just going to be more conscious of cooking vegetarian and ensure I do so at least weekly. Also, until now the word vegetarian to me has also been synonymous with tofu but I’m quickly learning to drop that comparison. There’s a world of ingredients out there for me to discover: beans, lentils, grains, and of course veggies and I can’t wait to dive in!.

So my first non-tofu vegetarian meal is this wonderful little concoction called Gypsy Soup. Not entirely sure why the Gypsy moniker. If it were up to me I would’ve named it ‘oh my god’ soup after the words that parted my lips when inhaling the aroma’s wafting from my pot.

Gypsy Soup

Olive oil for sauteing
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, passed through a press
3 smallish sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 medium fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped, membrane and seeds removed
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
4 cups water

2 teaspoons paprika (I made the mistake of using 1 teaspoon of hot smoked paprika because I love it so much but it overpowered the other flavors of the soup)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of cayenne
2 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon tamari

In a dutch oven, warm the oil and saute the onions, garlic, celery and sweet potatoes for 5 minutes. Add the seasonings, except for the tamari, and the water. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables and the chickpeas and continue to simmer for 10 minutes more, until the vegetables are as tender as you’d like. Stir in the tamari and adjust the seasonings.

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