I hate snow. I get no joy from the cold wet blanket that causes driving to be miserable and sends me to hide under six quilts only to emerge for food. I’m currently back in Nebraska for the Holidays and it has snowed almost every day for the past week. It’s snowing right now actually. And guess how cold it’s going to be on New Year’s? NEGATIVE 22 degrees F (-30 C). Apparently we haven’t seen weather this cold since the 60’s! How am I supposed to look cute under the twelve layers of clothing it’s going to take to not freeze to death?!
In order to fight the cold, I’ve been making a lot of soup. This is one of my favorites. It’s vegan, and gluten free, and makes you feel all warm and cozy inside. Chickpeas give a boost of protein and lend a creamy texture. The roasted red peppers and garlic give a punch of flavor that is guilt free!
Not only are red bell peppers delicious, they are nutritious too! Red peppers are full of carotenoids, which you may know are very good for your eyesight. Carotenoids serve as antioxidants, and absorb damaging blue light as it enters the eye. Red bell peppers are also one of the top sources of vitamin C, which helps boost your immune system. One pepper has 169% of your recommended daily allowance!
4 red bell peppers
1 head of cauliflower
1 head of garlic
1 T olive oil
1 yellow onion
1 can chickpeas
4 C vegetable stock
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh cilantro for garnish
Preheat oven to broil. Cut bell peppers in half and remove the seeds. Place cut side down on a pan, and place in oven for about 20 minutes and allow the skins to blacken. You may need to rotate the pan part way through.
Once roasted, immediately place peppers in a sealed container or ziplock back to cool. This helps to remove the skins.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the cauliflower and place on a greased pan. Cut the top of the garlic head off and place cut side up on the pan. Place pan in oven and set timer for 15 minutes. Flip cauliflower and roast for another 15 minutes.
While cauliflower is roasting dice the onion, and cook over medium heat with a tablespoon of olive oil.
Once translucent add chickpeas, stock, and spices. While the stock is warming, remove the skins of the peppers. They should peel off pretty easily, but if you are having trouble scraping the skins with a knife helps.
Add the skinned peppers, roasted cauliflower and garlic to the soup. It will help later if you chop the peppers and cauliflower into small pieces but it is not necessary. Allow to simmer 10 minutes.
If you have an immersion blender you can puree the soup right in the pan, otherwise divide the soup into batches and puree in a food processor of blender.
Adjust any seasonings, and serve with fresh chopped cilantro!