janet @ the taste space

Turkish Red Pepper, Chickpea and Cilantro Soup (Nohut Corbasi)

In Mains (Vegetarian), Soups on May 7, 2012 at 7:59 AM

I can’t believe that a year ago this weekend, I was already biking to-from Toronto and Kitchener (120 km, one-way). While I am planning to cycle to/from Toronto and Niagara Falls in June (160 km, one-way), our fall-back is a shorter course that leaves from Burlington (90 km).

With so many things happening this spring (moving, Colombia, hiking training, etc), it has been hard to dedicate as much time to long-distance cycling. Funnily enough, I have still clocked more kilometers on my bike due to my long daily commutes (780 km already clocked this year). However, nothing beats the long rides on my road bike as true training. Two weekends ago, Rob and I did a short jaunt in the cold for 35 km. True, I cycle that much on a typical day but it is spaced out. But that was enough for me. By the end, my back was sore for some odd reason. One really needs to ease into these long distance trips.

I know I’ve been posting a few recipes highlighting high protein options for typical carb-heavy meals, but my main focus for protein-friendly meals will always be a combination of beans and veggies. Brendan Brazier has always recommended a 3:1 to 4:1 carb-to-protein ratio, preferably a liquid for easiest digestion after recovery from sports. This is easy to get from bean- and veggie-centric soups and stews.

While I didn’t encounter anything like this in Turkey, the recipe for this Turkish red pepper, chickpea and cilantro soup came from Classical Turkish Cooking. I bookmarked it while searching for ideas with celeriac. I really liked how fresh and vibrant this soup was without being heavy. The simple soy milk makes this creamy along with the pureed chickpeas. The red pepper confers sweetness, celeriac a hearty celery background and the parsley/cilantro combo complemented it all really well. It has simple flavours that worked so well together: perfect as a light yet filling soup for the spring. The original recipe suggests pureeing the whole soup and then straining it, but I don’t like pureed soups, so I used my immersion blender to puree it partially. I was able to enjoy the benefits of the texture from the veggies as well as the additional heft from the puree.

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, to this week’s Weekend Wellness, to this month‘s Simple and in Season, to this month’s My Legume Love Affair, hosted by Priya, to this month’s Bookmarked Recipes, to this week’s Sunday Night Soup Night, and to Cookbooks Sundays.

Turkish Red Pepper, Chickpea and Cilantro Soup (Nohut Corbasi)
Adapted from Classical Turkish Cooking 

1 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 large carrot, chopped (1 cup)
2/3 cup celeriac, peeled and cubed
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced (1.5 cups)
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 sprigs parsley, plus more for garnish
4 sprigs cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 cup nondairy milk (I used sweetened soy milk but unsweetened may be better)
salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a large pot over medium heat, heat the oil. Once hot, add the onions, carrot, celeriac,and bell pepper, and saute until tender (but not brown), around 10 minutes.

2. Add the broth, chickpeas, parsley and cilantro. Stir and raise heat to high until boiling. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes until the chickpeas are very tender and the flavours have melded.

3. Use an immersion blender to partially puree the soup, to your desired consistency. Stir in the milk and season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with cilantro and parsley.

Serves 4. (Makes 7 cups)

  1. It’s definitely true that doing one LONG run is not the same as doing two short runs even if the total distances are the same, so yeah I have to agree that long bike rides are definitely key for training! I definitely drank/ate a lot more soup while I was marathon training and I wonder if it’s because that’s just what my body felt was perfect for fueling. Hmm. This looks so delicious! I’ll definitely be giving it a try once training starts up again in a few weeks!

  2. Ok, we need to be friends, because I want to make & eat every single thing I’ve seen on your blog since I happened upon it. This soup sounds amazing–I especially love the use of the totally maligned and underused-except-in-remoulade celeriac. Hooray!

    I used to bike commute, so I certainly understand the need for serious protein infusion, especially when switching to harder rides. I normally commuted 11 miles roundtrip, but had to go work at a different office for a couple weeks–which required a sudden new 27-mile commute. Making the switch to 13.5-mile stints after only riding 5.5 miles at a time for weeks on end was pretty painful. On one notable day I actually had to stop and lie on the ground eating granola bars until I had the strength to get up and bike the last five miles home. Food is definitely fuel.

    • Wow – we are twins!! Youpee for celeriac! 🙂 It is a shame we don`t live in the same country. If you are ever in Toronto, let me know. I totally relate to your cycling commute. At least my new commute doesn`t have as many hills.

  3. Hi Janet
    I wonder why I could never succeed making this Turkish red pepper, chickpea and cilantro soup.
    How did you do it? I’ll try again for sure and this time I’ll refer to your recipe as my guide 🙂
    Thanks also for the tempting food photos. Looks like they were made by professional. Have you ever heard about food photography site called http://www.foodporn.net ?
    Your pics should be on the Food Porn home page, that’s for sure!

  4. I love celeriac in soups too, in fact I have one in my fridge right now that is earmarked for soup! Your soup looks delicious, I love the ingredient combinations, its something a little different. Thanks for sharing this with Sunday Night Soup Night, look forward to seeing you again soon!

  5. What a wonderful combo of ingredients – this is definitely one I want to try. I like to use my stick blender too for a “partially” pureed result.

    Thanks so much for sharing this at Cookbook Sundays.

    Sue xo

  6. Once again I am wondering why I am not cooking more with celeriac. This soup looks wonderful and creamy. Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays. 😉

  7. […] move away from rhubarb and the UK to an entry from Janet at The Taste Space in Canada of Turkish Red Pepper, Chickpea and Cilantro Soup called Norbut  Corbasi.  Cilantro is known as coriander which is a favourite herb of […]

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