A Gift of Beans

In any normal marriage, when one spouse makes a business trip overseas, he or she comes home with a gift for the wife and children.I guess that means that my marriage is not only not normal, but it is unique.  My husband recently spent 10 days in London for business, and when I picked him up at the airport he said,"I have something special for you."What ran through my mind was a vision of some exceptional gift, something expensive, or exotic.  When he started unpacking I watched for the package I was sure would be coming out of his suitcase, but there was none.  When he handed me a small sheaf of papers I thought then that he was going to give me the deed to an apartment in London.As I opened up the papers to see what was inside, he had a pleased look of anticipation on his face.  I believe he was expecting me to be excited and to hug him by way of showing my gratitude. It was a recipe for garbanzo bean soup that he had convinced a chef in an Italian restaurant in London to write out for him.  That it was hand printed on a series of guest checks did not make it any more disappointing, but after 16 years of marriage, should I have expected anything more than a recipe or food related items?  My husband is the epitome of the lesson from that old saw, "the quickest way to a man's heart is through his big stomach."The soup was actually quite good, so I will share it with you.Garbanzo Bean Soupserves 6-86     cup cooked garbanzo beans4     tablespoons olive oil1     medium carrot, chopped1     medium onion, chopped1     celery, finely chopped2     cloves garlic, mashed2     cups chopped cabbage1     teaspoon chili paste or chili powder1     16-ounce can crushed tomatoes1     teaspoon sagesalt to taste-In a heavy soup pot, heat the olive oil, and then saute the onion, the carrot and the celery for five minutes.-Add the garlic, the sage, the chili paste and the cabbage.  Stir and cook for couple of minutes.-Add the crushed tomatoes, the salt, half of the cooked garbanzo beans and 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.-In a food processor, puree the rest of the garbanzo beans with 1 cup of water.  Add this puree into the soup.  Stir, adjust the seasoning and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.  Enjoy