Here we have a very quick post, partly designed to assuage my guilt at still being a rubbish blogger, partly to avoid getting out of bed on this miserable morning because the first thing that awaits me is a mountain of dirty dishes, and partly because I think this is a great soup for the dreich (read: rainy, cold and grey) weather we’ve been getting here in Scotland, and in other places too, I’m sure. It’s also really nourishing, especially if you start adding extra vegetables to it, low in fat, meat-wheat-dairy free and pretty cheap to make. It’s a real box-ticker of a soup.
I came across the recipe one night when I was looking for something quick for dinner, but still wanted to cook. It’s one of Leite’s Culinaria’s Weeknight Winners ™ – a great place to look for something you can whip up after work without starving half to death while you’re about it. Or, if you’re me, without having ‘a snack to tide you over’ and ending up not hungry by the time dinner’s ready because said ‘snack’ would more appropriately be described as ‘Jacobean banquet’. You can find the recipe here if you want to make it yourself. It’s made of mainly stock cupboard ingredients like tinned chickpeas and tinned tomatoes, and you can either nip out to the shops for the less stock-cupboardy items like celery, parsley and rosemary, or you can freestyle it and put in whatever you have to hand. Personally, I love celery in soup and in stews (though not as a snack) but I find it hard to use up a whole head before it goes bendy. I think it should be sold by the stick. That’s kind of a side note for any celery retailers who may be reading. Carry on.
The soup comes together just as quickly as promised, though it doesn’t suffer from simmering longer either. I would say that it’s important to make sure you don’t completely puree the soup because, for me, the texture of chickpeas is too wonderful to completely miss out on. I also added some spinach to the soup, for added nutrition and because I always have frozen spinach to hand, it’s ace for soups. One of the commenters on the recipe, Mary, suggests a poached egg on top, which sounds like an excellent idea to me. I just went with thick slices of buttered tiger bread. I’ve got a lot better at eating soup without half a loaf to accompany it, but now and again I slip back into my old habits and remember how great they were…
There are so many other wonderful interpretations of this recipe in the comments section of the page that I’d encourage you to read them before deciding on your own version. People have added chorizo, potato, white beans, courgette, parmesan, kale… The list goes on! You can also monkey around with the water or stock you put in – I had chicken stock in the freezer but you can make some from stock cubes instead, or you can use the cooking liquid from your chickpeas if you cooked them from dried, or just the canning liquid if, like me, you prefer them from a tin. If you don’t like monkeying around, or at least not while you’re cooking (safety first, I quite understand) then you can follow the recipe exactly as written and get delicious results. It’s a win-win situation. Now, go forth and make the chickpea soup!