Soup garnishes are like accessories for your food! Pair your bowl of soup with a swirl of homemade almond crema, fresh herbs, warm homemade flatbread and/or crispy seasoned chickpea "croutons." Garnishes are more than just bells and whistles - they take any soup from good to great. They add layers of flavor and texture that make the entire experience more colorful and enjoyable. They also oftentimes make soup more filling, turning a bowl into a fully satisfying meal.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Rinse, drain and dry chickpeas well. I like to place the chickpeas between two paper towels and roll with two flat hands until all moisture is absorbed.
- Place dried chickpeas in a 10-inch cast iron skillet or on a parchment lined baking sheet and toss well with oil and salt. You can add maple syrup for a sweet/savory combination at this time. Spread out evenly, leaving room for each chickpea to breathe.
- Bake for 45 minutes.
- After baking, toss with additional seasonings, if desired, while the chickpeas are still warm (such as ½ teaspoon paprika, smoked paprika, curry powder, onion powder, garlic powder or turmeric).
- Allow to fully cool before storing.
- Store at room temperature with the lid slightly cracked so they do not get soggy. They are best when fresh but can last a couple of days.
- Turn your oven to broil (500°F) and place the top oven rack 6 inches from the top heating element. This is the oven rack you will be using.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine chickpea flour, water, oil, maple syrup (optional), salt and additional seasonings (optional). Whisk until no lumps remain then set aside to rest for 25 minutes. At that point, place an empty, un-oiled 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven for 5 minutes. Allow the chickpea flour batter to continue to sit while the skillet heats for those 5 minutes. The batter will be resting for a total of 30 minutes.
- Using two oven mitts, carefully remove the skillet from the oven and place on a heat-safe surface. Coat the bottom of the skillet with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Carefully pour the rested batter into the pan, ensuring it evenly coats the entire bottom (you may need to pick up the skillet with your oven mitts to swirl the batter around). Immediately place the skillet back in the broiler (6 inches from the top heating element) for 5 minutes. Watch carefully at the end to avoid burning. You want the crust to be golden brown around the edges and a bit golden in the center. Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and rest on a heat-safe surface. Cut and serve immediately. This flatbread is best when fresh, but it can be cooled and stored in your refrigerator in an airtight container for 1-2 days.
- In a high-speed blender, combine all ingredients on the juice setting if your blender has that setting. Otherwise, use the highest speed for at least one minute until everything is silky smooth.