Garlic Sundried Tomato Soup

You can put this Casual Kitchen original recipe on the table in about 30 minutes, with fewer than 10 minutes of prep time. And it tastes even better as leftovers the next day.

The flavorful combination of butter, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and onions in this striking soup is absolutely heavenly. And the chickpeas add a healthy protein source to complete this inexpensive, delicious and laughably easy meal.

Garlic Sun-Dried Tomato Soup

2-3 Tablespoons butter
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
Ground black pepper, to taste
About 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes (in oil), chopped
1-2 teaspoons dried basil (to taste)
2 to 2.5 cups water (more or less according to desired thickness of soup)
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
About 3/4 of a 15-ounce can of chick peas, drained and rinsed

1) Melt butter over medium heat in a stock pot or large saucepan. Add onions, saute on medium high for 2-3 minutes, until translucent.

2) Add black pepper and garlic, saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add sun-dried tomatoes and dried basil, saute for another 2-3 minutes.

3) Add water, bouillon and diced tomatoes, stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

4) Optional: Ladle some (or all) of the soup into a blender or food processor (or use an immersion blender) to puree. Puree thoroughly or just pulse a few times, according to your preferences, then return the pureed soup back to the pot or saucepan.

5) Finally add the drained and rinsed chickpeas, briefly return the soup to a boil, then serve. Garnish with a few (optional) fresh parsley or basil leaves.

Serves 4 as a main dish, serves 6 as an appetizer. Can be easily doubled.
Recipe Notes:
1) Admittedly, sun-dried tomatoes add some cost to this dish, but they're worth it. They have an intense flavor and they add a layer of nuance that takes this recipe beyond a simple (and potentially boring) tomato soup. Sun-dried tomatoes in oil will keep for practically forever in your fridge, so I encourage buying a larger container to help lower your per-unit costs. Yes, you'll pay a higher up-front cost, but your future per-recipe costs will be far lower. Plus, you'll have the option, at any time, of making Sun-Dried Tomato Risotto or hilariously easy Citrus Orzo Salad with Sundried Tomatoes.

2) Vegans! You can veganize this recipe easily. Replace the butter with olive oil and replace the chicken bouillon with vegetable bouillon.

3) Step 4, the pureeing step, is totally optional, and here at CK we're not sure ourselves whether we prefer this soup pureed or unpureed. It's good both ways. Honestly, I'm leaning toward the unpureed version--in part because the cleanup is easier. I'm curious to hear readers' opinions on this step as you attempt this recipe.

4) What kind of fool writes a soup recipe that calls for just 3/4 of a can of chickpeas? Well, me. I'd normally have you add the entire 15-ounce can of chickpeas to the soup, but a full can overwhelms the recipe a bit. Chickpeas are a secondary ingredient, not a central ingredient here. However, if you really, really love chickpeas and simply can't get enough of them, feel free to add them all in. I guess.

Finally, wondering what to do with the remaining 1/4 can? Snack on 'em while you're cooking. Chef's privilege.

5) Okay, let's break out the green eyeshades and calculate this recipe's cost:

Butter: 15c
Onion 20c
Garlic 10c
Sun-dried tomatoes $2.00 to $4.00 (tough to put a strict value here, YMMV)
Diced tomatoes $1.50
Chick peas 89c

Total cost: from $1.21 to $1.71 per serving. Enjoy!

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