Quick soup for those busy days. Much quicker than a drive thru.

Cream of Chickpea and Ham Soup

1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed well

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1 celery rib, diced

salt and pepper; to taste

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp. cumin

1 quart chicken stock

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

10 oz. diced cooked ham

3 tablespoons sliced fresh chives

In a soup pot saute the onion, celery, carrots and garlic in the olive oil until softened. Pour in the chicken stock along with the red pepper flakes,cumin and drained garbanzo beans. Bring to a boil; lower heat to a slow simmer for 30 minutes. Using a immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Stir in the thyme, chives, ham, sherry vinegar and heavy cream.  Heat over low heat until warmed through.

For a vegetarian version, use vegetable stock and omit ham.