Creamy Tomato Chickpea Soup with Za’atar and Basil
This warming Tomato Chickpea Soup is subtly spiced and elevated with za’atar and fresh basil. The added coconut milk is optional but makes it wonderfully smooth and creamy.
1 large yellow onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, crushed
4 full stems of basil, stems and leaves separated
1 can of passata, peeled tomatoes, or sieved tomatoes
1 can of chickpeas, 1 heaping tablespoon separated for garnish
3 cups stock
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, more or less depending on taste
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup coconut milk (optional)
salt & pepper to taste
Add the onion, crushed garlic cloves, and basil stems to a deep pan with some olive oil and saute for about 10 minutes until onions are translucent.
Add the remaining ingredients, except for the coconut milk, za’atar, and a few basil leaves (for garnish), and bring to a near boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off heat and let it cool down a little. Remove the bay leaf and pour the soup into a blender along with the coconut milk. Blend until completely smooth.
Pour back into the pan and heat on low until warm and season to taste.
Pour soup into bowls and swirl some olive oil, scatter a hefty pinch of za’atar, and the remaining fresh basil leaves over the top. Enjoy!
The nutritional yeast can be omitted if you don’t have it, you can also use parmesan in its place – in that case, a tablespoon should do.
The coconut milk can also be omitted, or replaced with a small handful of soaked cashews, dairy cream, or soya cream.
If you don’t have any chickpeas on hand, they can be substituted with navy beans, although the soup will have a slightly less umami flavor which chickpeas naturally provide. In that case, you might have to add a little more nutritional yeast and salt. I highly recommend tasting along the way.