Middle Eastern Chickpea Soup

‘Tis the season for soup. Me…? I can’t seem to get enough of it. Who doesn’t love a bowl or mug of steaming comfort – at any time of day!! To me, one of the world’s best food combos remains the soup & sandwich. It encompasses all things: taste, texture and oh so much variety. Just picture it: a bowl of tomato soup with grilled cheese or a hearty bowl of minestrone with an ooey-gooey-melting grilled panini. And that’s just for starters!

With it being full on winter and my love of beans & legumes, this is the first recipe I came across – it certainly fit the bill in terms of what I wanted. Not only did I have all the ingredients, I already had chickpeas simmering on the stove! I was halfway there. I hadn’t added onion to the simmering beans, but I did add a bay leaf and one big fat clove of garlic. I added the onion to the next step.

Just remember to plan ahead to make this soup – prep the chickpeas to soak in the evening and put the bowl in the fridge, to make soup the next day. I think adding some sweet potato would give it an interesting taste twist – and doing the double duty of boosting the nutritional value.

Will have to try that in future…

BTW, this unusual soup, as well as being totally tasty – is made with no added fat! Quite the keeper to help with New Year’s resolution of healthier eating~ It’s also not only vegetarian, but vegan as well. 

Middle Eastern Chickpea Soup

In a pinch you could of course use canned beans. Pick up dried chickpeas, and other beans, next time you’re grocery shopping – it takes only a minute to cover them with water for their overnight soak. And they’re ready to cook with the next day. Serve with your fave soup topping – anything from croutons to add crunch, to a drizzle of truffle or nut oil to add some glam. Makes 4 servings.

2 cups dried chickpeas
8 cups water
1 large onion, chopped
1 large potato, peeled & diced into 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 cup vegetable broth

In a large bowl, cover chickpeas with water and let soak for approximately 10 hours;  Drain and rinse well. Move chickpeas to a large pot and add 8 cups of water and onion. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Let simmer, partially covered, until tender, approximately 1 hour.Add potatoes, turmeric, cumin, black pepper, and vegetable broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for approximately 1 1/4 hours, stirring occasionally. Season to taste and whiz until smooth with a hand blender or use your regular blender, but be sure to let it cool down first. The soup will thicken nicely as it sits.