Recipes and Food
Garlic Garbanzo Bean Soup Recipe
For thousands of years, from Hippocrates to Chinese medicine, garlic has been credited with medicinal properties — from boosting the immune system by being antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial to reducing inflammation. It has also been heralded for reducing cholesterol, being a good antioxidant, and detoxifying the body. Best of all, it’s delicious. On the other hand, Ayurveda, the holistic sister science of yoga, recommends minimal use of garlic, mainly because excessive consumption produces too much heat in the body, which in turn can make us irritable and drain our energy. However, at a time when we are preparing for a possible onslaught on our immune system, a small cup of garlic garbanzo bean soup a day may be just what we need.
Garlic Garbanzo Soup Recipe
Makes 4-5 Small Servings | 1 Hour + Soak Time
- 1/3 cup dry garbanzo beans
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 20 cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 stalk celery, minced
- 1 cup canned, chopped tomatoes (or 2 cups fresh)
- 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Chopped herbs for garnish
Soak the garbanzo beans for 3-4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. They should double in size. Drain the water, combine with 4 cups of fresh water and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, lower the heat, and simmer until they are completely soft and almost falling apart. Depending on the quality of the beans, this may take from 45 minutes to well over an hour.
In a small frying pan, heat the olive oil with garlic cloves. The garlic will turn golden brown. Lower the heat and continue cooking for another minute. Add the cumin seeds, they will pop and sizzle. Immediately add the chili powder and celery and fry for a minute, then add to the soup. Add the tomatoes, fenugreek, and salt and bring the mixture to a boil; lower the heat and continue cooking for another 30 minutes until the garlic is soft. If the soup appears dry, add 1-2 cups of water. Turn the heat off and let the soup rest for 20-30 minutes. The consistency of the soup is best if it is slightly watery and not too thick. Garnish with fresh herbs such as mint, cilantro, or thyme and serve.
Notes & Variations
- When adding chili, be careful the oil is not too hot. It should color the oil but not burn. Burned chili can contribute a bitter flavor to the soup.
- To make the soup heartier, add 2 chicken legs when cooking the beans — remove the meat from the bone and add it back to the soup.
- Add 1⁄2 cup of heavy cream or coconut milk to make a creamier version.
- Instead of garbanzo beans, make this soup with white navy, red, or any other beans.