Garbanzo Bean and Vegetable Soup by Christine Vartanian Datian

It might still be pretty hot outside, but cooler days are
on the horizon. Pumpkins and gourds are already on display in supermarkets, and
believe it or not, Christmas decorations are hitting the shelves in certain
stores!


It’s safe to say that a good soup recipe is always
appropriate to post. Here’s the latest contribution by Christine Datian to both
the Armenian Mirror-Spectator – and – The Armenian Kitchen. (Thanks, Chris!)

Enjoy, everyone!!

Christine Datian’s Garbanzo Bean and Vegetable Soup

Garbanzo Bean and Vegetable Soup
by Christine Vartanian Datian
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

2 – 16 oz. cans reduced sodium garbanzo beans, rinsed and
drained
2-3 tablespoons olive oil or unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium onion, chopped (white, brown or yellow)
2 stalks celery (and top greens), chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium baking potato or sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 medium red or green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 pound spinach, rinsed, stems removed, and chopped*
8 cups reduced sodium chicken, beef broth or vegetable
broth (to taste)
1 8 oz. can reduced sodium tomato sauce or tomato juice
1 -14.5 oz. can stewed or crushed tomatoes or 1 cup fresh
diced tomatoes
1/4 cup fine bulgur
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon dried crushed mint
1 bay leaf
Salt, black pepper, dash of allspice
Crushed red pepper flakes, cumin, smoked paprika, basil,
oregano or Aleppo pepper (to taste)
Olive oil
Garnishes: Chopped fresh mint, basil or parsley

Preparation:

In a large Dutch oven or pot, sauté garlic, onions, celery,
carrots, potatoes, and peppers in olive oil or butter for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring
occasionally.

Add garbanzo beans, broth, tomato sauce or juice, tomatoes,
bulgur, lemon juice, and tomato paste, stir and bring to a full boil; add
spinach, mint, bay leaf and spices and stir to combine.  Reduce heat, cover, and cook for 45-55
minutes or until tender.  Stir soup
occasionally and add more broth or spices as needed.

Remove bay leaf. 
Mash beans and potatoes if a thicker consistency is desired.  Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with choice
of mint, basil or parsley.  

Drizzle with
olive oil and serve with pita bread, garlic bread or bread sticks.

**Suggestions
Spinach may be pan-fried in olive oil
and garlic and added to this soup. 
Garnish with Armenian or Greek yogurt or sour cream.  Or you can add 1/4 cup chopped dried dates or
apricots to this recipe, if desired.

*Christine’s recipes have been published in the Fresno Bee
newspaper, Sunset magazine, Cooking Light magazine, and at
http://thearmeniankitchen.com/

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