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Monday, August 19, 2013

Comforting Chick Pea Soup

I really do love chick peas any which way. I often exhaust myself with recipe ideas of how I can turn them into something totally different from breads to cakes, salads, spreads and soups. They are the type of legume that can be used for any meal, they are so versatile and interesting. I wanted a break today from the typical chick pea dishes such as hummus and salad so I went with a soup instead.
The air is different outside and when I step out of my front door, the leaves sound like fall.  I am wearing a hoodie and my brain is already thinking about pumpkins, hot cider and other fall comforts.  It's my absolute favorite season. I wait for it all year, I dream about it.  It's the time that I start to cook with more tuberous veggies and start making lots of soups.  If you love soup like I do, I would suggest making a few batches of homemade stock to keep for the fall and winter.  You can make stock anytime of year, but the veggies you will put in your pot are local now.  Later on they may have to come from another country or another state, but I try to support my local farmers whenever able. 

Here is my basic chicken stock recipe: ( You can substitute chicken for beef or whatever other meat source you choose)

In a large pot
1 large chicken carcass ( left over after you have roasted a chicken and eaten all the main parts)
2 whole bulbs of garlic unpeeled
2 whole onions unpeeled
3 sticks of celery
4 carrots
2 bay leaves
1 kaffir lime leaf
1 large bunch of sage, thyme and parsley bound together with twine
1 tbsp peppercorns
2 tbsp kosher salt
1 bell pepper
1 tbsp coriander seeds
juice of one lemon

Mix all of the above in a very large pot and fill with enough water to cover all ingredients. Bring all to a boil and then simmer for 4 hours. Your house will smell amazing while this is cooking! This is the day to invite guests. They will drool. Skim the surface of your liquid as you see foam accumulating. After 4 hours of simmering, remove the carcass and pick off all the meat you can ( save for chicken soup!) Use a fine strainer or a chinois.  You may need to strain it more than once until broth is clear of particles. Allow to cool fully. Once cooled you can vacuum seal bags of it to freeze for easy thawing all season long.

Now onto the actual chick pea soup

Whenever possible, dried chick peas that are soaked for cooking work best. If you can't find them or simply don't have the time, canned beans will work as well.

You will need:

2 cups of chickpeas
3 radishes thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic diced
bell pepper ( I used an organic purple beauty) diced
4 cups of chicken stock
juice of 1/2 lime
kosher salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp Extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp chili powder

In a saucepan on medium heat in oil,  saute diced garlic, sliced radishes and diced pepper for about 1 minute.  Add coriander, chili powder, salt and pepper. Add chickpeas, lime juice and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 20 min. Garnish with a lime wedge, fresh pepper and a squirt of lime juice.  This is strangely comforting and refreshing at the same time. Enjoy!

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