Tomato and Garbanzo Bean Soup with Marjoram and Wheat Berries
May 7, 2012 § 1 Comment
After posting a couple of recipes that celebrate the season, I thought it might be nice to share something that takes advantage of a well-stocked pantry. A soup like this is delicious in early May, but it would also be appropriate at the end of summer when your pantry might be stocked with newly canned tomatoes. It could also be perfect in the dead-middle-of-winter by swapping the fresh marjoram for an herb that survives the frost, or even using dried herbs that are tossed into the pot with the garlic and red pepper flakes.
Rather than letting the garbanzo beans give the soup texture, I decided to puree them into the tomatoes and add chewy wheat berries for contrast. There is a little bit of sweet, a little bit of heat and a generous amount of floral flavor in this wonderfully creamy (but cream-less) soup.
– 10 oz dried garbanzo beans, soaked and cooked
– 6 oz wheat berries (soaked for 30 minutes or longer if time permits)
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
– 1/4 tsp raw sugar
– 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
– 4 cups stock
– 1/2-1 oz fresh marjoram, removed from stems and roughly chopped
– salt & pepper
– parmesan to garnish
Place wheat berries in a small saucepan and cover with water by a few inches. Add a bit of salt and bring to a boil, down to a simmer. Cook until tender but still chewy, 15-30 minutes depending on whether they are soaked. In a larger pot, heat a bit of oil over a medium-high heat and add garlic, red pepper flakes and sugar. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes, then add diced tomatoes. Lightly cook the tomatoes until most of the moisture has been cooked out, 4-5 minutes. Add stock and cooked garbanzo beans and bring to a boil, down to a simmer while wheat berries continue cooking. Drain cooked wheat berries and transfer the tomato/garbanzo bean mixture to a blender to puree in batches (remove the cap and cover the hole with a paper towel). Return to the pot and add most of the wheat berries (reserving 1 tbsp per serving to garnish) and most of the marjoram (reserving 1 scant tsp per serving to garnish) and cook for 5-10 minutes longer. Serve in soup with a sprinkle of cooked wheat berries, a dusting of freshly grated parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of marjoram.