heart-healthy tomato chickpea soup

Tomato soup is a staple in our house (ahem, apartment), and it’s a great heart-healthy option that can be customized a bit to include what needs to be used up in your pantry, like beans or fresh bell peppers. This week, we’re making it with chickpeas for an extra dose of protein and fiber.

Remember the Doctrine of Signatures we talked about with walnuts? The same goes for tomatoes. Cut one open and what do you see? Lots of red and four chambers, just like the heart, and there’s loads of evidence that tomatoes help reduce the risk of heart disease as well as various cancers thanks to the antioxidant powers of lycopene.

Lycopene is a phytonutrient/antioxidant that takes on free radicals, stopping them in their tracks before they damage your cells (whenever possible, don’t discard the seeds – that’s where much of the nutritious action lies). It is also fat-soluble, which means we need a good-quality fat to help us absorb all its benefits, otherwise we’re not getting all the goodness we can be. In this recipe we can use ghee, grass-fed butter, and grapeseed or coconut oil – these are not the *only* options but the ones I recommend.

This recipe is ideal for a week of meal prep, but can be halved or doubled or tripled to your liking. It’s magical like that. It can also be made without chickpeas entirely, but why would you wanna do that?

heart-healthy tomato chickpea soup
 
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
For Roasted Chickpeas:
  • 1½ cups chickpeas, soaked and rinsed (or 1 can low-sodium chickpeas, rinsed)
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil or melted ghee
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
For Soup:
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed oil, or ghee
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans chopped fire-roasted tomatoes (I like Muir Glen, an organic and BPA-free brand)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1½ cups chickpeas, soaked and rinsed (or 1 can low-sodium chickpeas, rinsed)
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Mix chickpeas with oil and spices and roast in oven for about 30 minutes, until golden and crispy, stirring halfway.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large saucepan on medium. Add celery, carrots, onion, and garlic, and cook 10 minutes.
  3. Lower heat to a simmer and add tomatoes, broth, chickpeas, and butter and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
  4. Add coconut milk. Puree until smooth with an immersion blender (or CAREFULLY in a regular blender with a little venting or it will explode all over you). Plate and garnish with roasted chickpeas and fresh or dried basil.

 

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