This was one of my very first "Moosewood" recipes. I haven't made it for years, and forgot just how wonderful it is. This is most definitely an autumn/winter soup.
This was first published in the very first Moosewood cookbook (1977) and showed again in the revised original cookbook (1992). When Moosewood first began publishing cookbooks, they focused on vegetarian (not vegan) recipes, but weren't into the healthier versions. Fifteen years later, their recipes were revised to reflect more modern health concerns like lower fat (initial recipes might call for as much as a 1/4 cup of olive oil, when 1 Tablespoon would suffice).
While this recipe is a mixture of the two editions, I lean much more towards the newer version. There were a few directions that differed between the two, so I just sort of combined them to make the one easiest with ingredients I prefer. One recipe calls for using a green bell pepper, but I prefer the sweeter red/orange/yellow choice. Also, while I used sweet potatoes, you could substitute carrots, squash or pumpkin. And if you prefer a green pepper, you could use that or substitute peas or green beans. Or as many/few vegetables you like or have on hand.
The two things I absolutely wouldn't substitute or eliminate are the turmeric and the cinnamon. The turmeric gives this a beautiful yellow tinge, and the cinnamon lends that autumn/winter aura. Serve with with a wonderful crusty baguette, ciabatta, or artisan bread and you are set for a cold afternoon or evening.
GYPSY SOUP (4-6 servings)
2 medium-sized ripe tomatoes
2 Tbsp EVOO
2 cups chopped onion
3 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cups peeled, diced sweet potato (about 1 medium/large sweet potato)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp dried basil
dash or less cayenne, optional
1 bay leaf
3 cups water or vegetable stock
1 medium sweet pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups (15 oz can) cooked chick peas (garbanzos)
In a soup kettle or stock pot, heat olive oil then add onions, garlic, celery, and sweet potatoes for about 5 minutes. Add seasonings and the water or stock. Simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Add remaining vegetables and chickpeas. Simmer another 10 minutes until all of the vegetables are as tender as you like them.
Recipe Source: Moosewood Cookbooks, 1977 edition and 1992 editions, both p. 5