Chickpea, Chestnut, and Kale Soup

This healthy and filling soup recipe, from What to Eat When co-creator Dr. Crupain, is packed with protein, veggies, and healthy carbs. Make a big batch over the weekend so you can ladle out a cup for yourself whenever a craving strikes. Low in calories and high in protein, you can feel good about eating this soup for any meal of the day.

2 cups Dried chickpeas or 4 cans of cooked chickpeas
1 tsp Baking soda
2 Rosemary stalks leaves removed for later
3 Bay leaves
1 Onion (cut in half)
1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
1 Onion (chopped)
2 Carrots (chopped)
2 Celery stalks (chopped)
1 head Fennel (chopped)
12 oz Jar of peeled chestnuts (broken up with your hands)
2 tbsp Rosemary
1 tsp Chili flakes (if you want a little heat)
1/4 cup Tomato paste
12 cups Water

Soak and brine the chickpeas overnight in water with 1.5 tablespoons of salt per 8 cups. Adding the salt helps break down the pectin which ensures more even cooking. They will more than double in size.

Before cooking, drain the chickpeas and rinse a few times until the water is clear. Put the beans, baking soda, 1 onion, and 1 rosemary stalk in a pot and cover with cold water and a 1 teaspoon of salt.

Cook over medium heat until tender. When the beans are done cooking remove the onion and rosemary stalks and drain the beans to a colander. Set aside.

Heat a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat and add the olive oil.

Next add 1 chopped onion, carrots, celery, and fennel and sauté for about 8 minutes until starting to lightly brown.

Next, add the chestnuts and sauté for another 3 minutes.

Add the additional rosemary and cook for one minute more. Move the vegetables to the side and add the tomato paste. Spread it out so as much is touching the surface of the pan as possible. Cook for a minute until it starts to leave a residue on the pan and then mix in with the rest of the vegetables. Cook for another few minutes, until tomato paste develops a darker color.

Now add 12 cups of water and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release the browned bits. This will add extra flavor to your broth. Bring soup to a simmer for 5 minutes.

Mix a cup of broth with a cup of beans and purée in a blender, then add to the broth. This will create a creamy texture.

Add the beans to the broth and simmer another 5 minutes. Remove about a cup of beans from the soup with some liquid and purée in a blender. Return to the soup to create a creamy texture. If you want it more creamy, you can either cook it longer or purée more. Finally, add the finely chopped kale and cook until it softens about 5-7 minutes. Season with salt to taste and then serve.