The Quarantine Cookbook | Smoked paprika chickpea and chicken sausage soup

As we settle in to self-isolation, we're sharing some of our favorite delicious, easy-to-make recipes for the hungry at home.

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Leah Mensch | Contributing Editor

Cumin is the best spice, but today, we’re using smoked paprika. That’s how good this soup is — I’m willing to forgo cumin as the main spice. This sausage, chickpea and paprika soup is delicious, hard to screw up and best of all, the preparation results in minimal dishes. This recipe is easily made vegetarian or vegan — just pass on the sausage and use vegetable broth.

Total cook time: 30 minutes 

Servings: Five? I don’t know. I think one time I ate an entire pot for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Now is the part where I’m supposed to tell you about how popular this soup is. How much my son loves to eat this soup after his soccer practice, how my son’s friends come flocking to my door after soccer practice because they want to eat this soup. But I don’t have a son, and I know virtually nothing about soccer. 

Instead, I’ll leave it at this. Once I gave a friend a mason jar full of this soup, and she left it sitting out on her kitchen counter all night by mistake, and she still ate it the next day. While the CDC and I, Leah Mensch, strongly advise you NOT to do this, consider my friend’s decision a mere anecdote as to how delicious this soup is. 

Without further ado — here we are. 

Ingredients: 

A few links of chicken sausage 

Two 19-ounce cans of chickpeas, drained (also called garbanzo beans)

1/2 cup water

4 cups broth (I use typically chicken, but beef or vegetable works too) 

1 medium onion, diced 

1 garlic clove, minced (and peeled)

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 glug of tomato sauce 

1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika (add a little more for an extra kick of spice)

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (you can sub an extra teaspoon of smoked paprika instead)

3 carrots peeled and chopped 

1 teaspoon cumin

1/3 cup olive oil (or any kind of oil)

Feta cheese (optional, to garnish)

Directions: 

Step 1. In a skillet, cook the sausage or meat of choice until slightly brown. Then, transfer it to a plate and set it aside. 

Step 2. If you have a food processor, puree half of the chickpeas until smooth. If you don’t have a food processor, you can skip this step and the soup will still taste delicious. 

Step 3. In a soup pot, which is probably the biggest pot you can find in your pot and pan collection, heat the olive oil. Then, add the carrots, onions, garlic and any other vegetable you want until soft and browning. It helps if you cover the pot with a lid. This should take about five minutes. 

Step 4. Add the sausage, tomato paste, paprika, cumin and any other spices. Stir the pot for about a minute and then add the water, broth and both the whole and pureed chickpeas. Bring to a boil for about 10 minutes and then let simmer for a bit. 

Step 5. Use a ladle to scoop soup into a bowl, and garnish with feta cheese and toasted pita. Or anything else in the world. The sky’s the limit. Live your dream. 

Notes: Unlike your creative writing, the longer you let soup sit, the better you realize it is. In other words, the soup will taste delicious right away. But in a day or two, the flavors will set and it will taste even better. This soup lasts in the fridge for up to five days, and it can also easily be frozen and thawed. Again, in order to avoid botulism, please refrigerate this soup after cooking. 

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