Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Soup

The other day I needed to make some soup for lunch and I didn't have any plan or fresh ideas, so I went into the cooler for some inspiration. The very first thing that I saw was a tub of hummus that I use for snacks when my kids come to the restaurant and are "starving."

Something clicked and the phrase "roasted red pepper hummus soup" popped into my mind. That's how a lot of dishes come to me: the thought just materializes, seemingly out of nowhere.

At this point, it was merely a matter of execution and I scrounged around the cooler and found some already cooked chickpeas, already peeled roasted red peppers, a couple of lemons, an onion, some pulled cooked chicken, and some chicken stock.

I blended the chickpeas and roasted red peppers with chicken stock. I sautéed the onion with some garlic, red pepper flakes, and a sprinkle of ground cumin, then added the blended ingredients, thinned the soup with chicken stock, added the chicken, and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Once the onions were fully cooked, I seasoned the soup with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil.

It was a tremendous hit with customers. We sold the entire three gallon batch in a hurry.

Clearly, you could make this soup vegetarian trivially. And the possibilities for different seasonings seem vast. No doubt you could make this at home in minutes with a jar of roasted red peppers, a can of chickpeas, and a can of broth. How simple could it be? Happy experimenting! This is a great idea to have in your repertoire.

And oh, by the way, I was talking the other day about those times when you think you've invented something in the food world, all you have to do is consult the Google oracle to see that you have not. Although I've never heard of hummus soup before, clearly lots of other people have.

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