Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Improv Night (Cont): Red Cabbage, Chickpea and Parsnip Soup

I don't know if this sounds appealing to you all or not, but, trust me..its DELICIOUS! Today was the first snow of the year, and I felt I needed a warm, hearty stew-like dinner. The red cabbage in this recipe almost gives it a sort of meaty texture which I never would have thought possible, while the slightly pureed chickpeas give it a hearty, creamy texture. So much goodness for the taste buds and the body! Ya just gotta try it. (If you like hot foods add some hot sauce, gives the perfect kick to it)

Red Cabbage, Chickpea, and Parsnip Soup
1 Medium red onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 head large red cabbage, chopped into shreds
1 large parsnip, chopped into half rounds
1/4 cup pesto (I used the edamame spinach pesto recipe from the previous post)
1 small can tomato paste
1 12 oz can of chickpeas
a pinch of red pepper flakes                                                                                                                                                                                                         

1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the Onion and garlic and saute till they start to soften
2. Add the shredded red cabbage, parsnip rounds, and red pepper flakes. Sautee all the veggies until the red cabbage starts to soften. This should take a few minutes. Then add the pesto and sautee for about a minute longer.
3. Fill the pot with water until the vegetables are just completely submerged. Bring to a boil and let boil until the parsnip is soft enough that it can be pierced with a fork.
4. Reduce soup to a simmer and add the tomato paste. 
5. With either an immersion blender or normal blender, pulse soup a few times until the chickpeas and red cabbage start to break down a little. This will make the soup thicker and heartier.
6. Salt and pepper to taste

Health Benefits!!
Onion- strong antimicrobial benefits, contains sulfides lowering blood lipids and blood cholesterol, contain flavanoids which are known to help protect against cardiovascular disease, high sulfur content for anticlotting agent.
Red Cabbage- Rich in vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E, which are good for eyes, skin, and boosting immunity. High in anthocyanins, which have been shown to reduce risk of some cancers, good source of calcium.
Chickpeas- high protein, high fiber, low fat, can help reduce bad cholesterol 
Parsnip- High fiber, helps lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar. They are very high in folic acid, which is wonderful for the female reproductive system and preventing birth defects, B Vitamins, and potassium to regulate blood pressure
[see pesto post for its health benefits!]


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