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This soup has a healing secret: its full of vitamin A and high in C. It has the power to sooth our nerves unraveled by constant high winds. We loved it. Pure comfort: a blend of potato, plantain, chickpeas, cumin, cilantro and pepper. And garlic! Cook the potatoes in Swansons 99% fat free Chicken broth with roasted garlic. Set them aside to age for 30 to 90 minutes. Then complete the soup in 15 minutes. The recipe makes 8 to 9 cups: serves two without accompaniment; or four with a chile-cheese tamale or cornbread. Basic soup takes 1 hour; could take 3 hours. NOTE: Depending upon the variety, one plantain can weigh from 3 to 12 ounces. We used half a 6-ounce plantain for this soup; it was still green. (We made plantain chips out of the other half.) 1. Place the potato cubes (bitesize), chicken broth and water in a 3-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil; add the chickpeas and boil 2 or 3 minutes. Add a pinch or two of coarsely ground pepper. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat; let stand, covered, from 15 to 90 minutes to develop the flavor. 2. Reheat the soup. While it is heating, chunk-cut the plantain, carrot, celery and green onions; transfer to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Coarsely chop; add to the soup pot. Add water to yield about 2-quarts of soup or up to 9 cups. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Add cilantro, Mexican blend of herbs and spices, more pepper, to taste, and optional flax seed (oil and fiber). Cover and simmer 12 to 15 minutes until chopped vegetables are tender and the potatoes are very soft. Mash slightly with the ladle. 3. Meanwhile, heat the tamales. To serve: place half an unwrapped tamale in the center of a wide soup bowl. Add a portion of soup. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro leaves. SERVES 4: 1/2 tamale and about 2 cups soup: 312 cals, 6g fat (16%cff). SERVES 2: 4 cups of soup: 470cals, 4.5g fat (8%). >Tested by Pat and Bob Hanneman 1999-Jan for Pat in the Kitchen
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