Baked Potato Soup with Smoky Chickpea "Bacon Bits"

Baked Potato Soup with Smoky Chickpea \

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This is what you do. Add the garlic and saute for another minute or so. Add the baked potato chunks and stir, breaking the potatoes up a bit with your spoon and coating the potatoes with the vegetables and garlic, about another minute. Stir in the vegetable broth, cajun seasoning, nutritional yeast, turmeric, and a few drops of liquid smoke. Season with salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and let the soup simmer while you work on the chickpea "bacon bits." To make the chickpea bacon bits: Turn on the broiler in your oven. Spread the chickpeas out on a baking sheet and lightly coat them with nonstick spray or a small amount of oil. Sprinkle on the smoked paprika, cajun seasoning, cumin, liquid smoke, chipotle hot sauce (if using), and salt and pepper, and stir to coat the chickpeas with the spice mixture. Place the chickpeas under the broiler and cook until the they are fragrant and slightly crispy, about 10-15 minutes. Watch them carefully so they do not burn! To make it more creamy, you can thicken it by breaking up more of the potato chunks with the back of a spoon, or just go in with a potato masher or immersion blender. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve the soup hot, garnished with the green onion tops and chickpea "bacon bits." This soup is great on a cold winter night, served with homemade beer bread. It will fill you up and warm you up without emptying your wallet. Plus, it's a great way to use those green onions that you've been regrowing on your kitchen counter.

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