Sunday, March 27, 2011

Chickpea, Leek and Parmesan Soup: Something Soul-Filling for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays and to Welcome Jamie Oliver

...Ahh, soup... it can be so warming, soul-filling, and welcoming. I am all about that soupy goodness. I realized as I was typing up this post that this is 150th soup recipe that I am posting here at Kahakai Kitchen. Pretty amazing, right?! 128 of them for Souper Sundays and 22 before I started up this weekly soup (and salad & sandwiches too) event. So since soup is "my thang" -- it seemed only fitting to usher in our newest chef at I Heart Cooking Clubs, Jamie Oliver, with a hug in a bowl. Sure, I am a day early as Jamie's six-month reign at IHCC actually starts on Monday, but a warming bowl of Jamie's Chickpea, Leek & Parmesan Soup is an excellent way to kick off his welcome.

Jamie with leeks ;-)

This soup is from "Soup Kitchen"--edited by Annabel Buckingham and Thomasina Miers, which is a collection of soup recipes from famous chefs (most are from the UK--although several International chefs and restaurateurs are in the book too), like Nigella Lawson, Jill Dupleix, Donna Hay, Delia Smith and of course Jamie Oliver. The soups are arranged by season and there is also a section on "all-year-round soups" where this one can be found. It's a very simple soup--chickpeas, leeks, garlic, thyme and potatoes simmered in chicken stock and topped with a bit of freshly-grated Parmesan. I did make a few changes, in red below.

Chickpea, Leek & Parmesan Soup
by Jamie Oliver from "Soup Kitchen"
(Serves 4)

2 medium leeks
15g (I Tbsp) butter
2 garlic cloves, chopped (I used 3)
1 handful fresh thyme, leaves picked
1 (400 g / 14 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (I used 2 cans)
600 ml (about 2.5 cups) chicken stock (I used a quart of stock)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped (I used 3 smallish Yukon Golds)
salt and pepper to taste
extra virgin olive oil
freshly grated Parmesan

Trim the outside of the leeks back then cut off any coarse green tops and discard them. Cut the leeks in half lengthways and slice the halves into fine shreds. Put the chopped leeks in a colander and rinse thoroughly under running water, removing any dirt.

In a large saucepan, gently heat the butter and add the garlic, leeks, and thyme leaves. Put the lid on the pot and slowly cook until soft without coloring.

Add the chickpeas to the leeks with the chicken stock and potatoes. Bring to the boil then simmer gently for half and hour or so until the potatoes are well cooked. If the soup is too thick, loosen it with a little boiling water.

Break up the chickpeas and pieces of potato to thicken it slightly. Season carefully with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, and pour into hot bowls. Top with a splash of olive oil and some grated Parmesan cheese.

Notes/Results: Hearty and delicious--the simple ingredients work really well together with the thyme seasoning the vegetables and complementing the slight sweetness of the leeks. It's "dead good" as Jamie Oliver would say. ;-) It goes together easily, just a little chopping and simmering and the kitchen smells heavenly while it's cooking. I did add extra broth, garlic, chickpeas and potato to the soup but kept the basic flavors the same. Jamie instructs breaking up the chickpeas and potatoes to thicken the soup so I took a couple passes through with the immersion blender. You could of course use veggie stock to make a vegetarian version but I had homemade organic chicken stock to use up anyway, which adds so much delicious flavor.

To serve, I made Spanish-inspired pan con tomate (tomato bread) by brushing some slices of seeded baguette with olive oil and toasting them in the grill pan. Next, I rubbed the toasts with a cut garlic glove and then the cut side of a ripe tomato and sprinkled them with a little sea salt. The brightness of the tomatoes add a nice contrast to the soup and the toasts are perfect for dipping. A simple, rustic dinner. Welcome Jamie!

(BTW: It is even better warmed up the next day. I am eating it for breakfast now. ...Yes, I eat soup for breakfast too--told you I loves me some soupy goodness) ;-)

I'm linking this soup to the "Let's Get Naked!" (Welcome Jamie Oliver post) at IHCC here. Stop by and you'll see what dishes everyone made to welcome the Naked Chef. ;-)

Now let's see who wandered into the Souper Sundays kitchen this week and what delicious dishes they brought with them.

Tigerfish from Teczcape - An Escape to Food made a healthy Napa Cabbage Hulled Barley Soup this week and says, "Currently, we are experiencing wintry weather as a way to welcome Spring. What a damper! And staying home to cook a hearty soup is my way to welcome the rain, winds and Spring. ...Practice makes perfect. I think I am getting better at creating tasty vegetarian dishes. Nah, vegetarian dishes are not bland. In fact, they can be flavorsome and delicious...ahem...speaking from this non-vegetarian here."

Lovely Corina of Searching for Spice is here with a Asian Style Potato and Coriander Soup. She says, "The weather might be getting a little warmer but it’s still quite cold in the evenings here. Not quite time to swap soups for salads and this soup is filling enough to eat as a main meal. You could even add some beans to bulk it out a bit and add protein. One of the reasons I love this soup so much is all the fresh coriander it contains. Yes, I’m still loving fresh coriander."

Debbi of Debbie Does Dinner... Healthy & Low Calorie tried a Southwestern Creamy Chicken Soup and says, "Everyone loved this soup. Loved, loved, loved. It was thick, warm and creamy. 95 degrees, humid and in the sun and I would still enjoy this soup. I can't wait to make it again!" And believe it or not, it's diet-friendly, Debbie says "1 1/2 cups of Southwestern Cream of Chicken Soup = 396 calorie dinner."

Umm from Taste of Pearl City has a beautifully-hued Curried Pumpkin Soup to share this week and says, "This is a bit of different soup to my usual ones. I always go for English style of soup with just vegetables and stock. This time I made with a combination of lentils and pumpkin with some mild spices. I would have left just with lentil and pumpkin and made it like a Indian style sambhar, but since I was looking for a rich smooth consistency, I pureed it after cooking .The type of lentils which I have used is moongdhal. Moongdhal marries well with pumpkin, particularly when it is pureed, the consistency of the soup is perfect with crusty rolls and you'll love the flavours in it."

We have three new faces to welcome at Souper Sundays this week. First is Aruna from Veggie Paradise... and joining us all the way from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Aruna brings a Creamy & Cheesy Cauliflower Soup and says, "Cheesy,Creamy Cauliflower Soup as the name says this is definitely a delicious soup. Undoubtedly the kids will love this a lot as we are adding grated cheese in it :). This is a simple soup which has a rich taste. ... Sprinkle some pepper and enjoy :)" Welcome Aruna!

Our second newbie is Krista from The Beet Reporter, blogging from Washington, DC and here with a Ginger-Infused Egg Drop Soup. She says, "I’ve been feeling a little under the weather lately (and the weather itself has been gloomy and rainy) and for me soup is the ultimate comfort food. ... I prepared a big batch of the ginger soup broth to store in the fridge and heat up on the stove as I needed it throughout the week. Once it’s lightly simmering, crack an egg over it and stir in the egg whites for one minute and it’s good to go." Welcome to Souper Sundays Krista!

Our final first-timer is Pattie from St. Louis, blogging at Olla-Podrida. Pattie made a Spicy Sausage and Potato Soup and says, "It's hard to imagine waking up near the end of March and seeing five inches of snow on the ground, at least where we live, so inasmuch as springtime normally doesn't have me thinking about thick, hearty soups, today certainly did. In digging through the fridge I found the remainder of a package of andouille sausages that we'd bought for making jambalaya and remembered that I'd printed out a recipe for an andouille and potato soup, so decided to give it a try." Welcome Patti!

Three salads this week. From Janet at The Taste Space, Symphonic Bean Salad, (read her post for the fun origins of the name!), made to avoid eating out on a recent trip. Janet says, "I really liked it. It is not your typically sweet, oily bean salad. It is light and fresh. It travels well, through US customs without problems. If it weren’t for a slightly leaky lid, it would have been fool-proof. No worries since I wrapped it in a plastic bag to spare my clothes. And who thought food porn in a hotel, with their plates, would look so gorgeous?"

Kim from Stirring the Pot is working on getting into short and tank top shape for spring and finding lighter, healthy recipes like this fruit-filled White Rabbit Salad from Mollie Katzen. Kim says, "...I really enjoyed this salad, both deconstructed and in it's parfait form. It's got a very nice contrast of flavors and textures and makes for a wonderful and healthy snack or breakfast. The first time I served the salad somewhat deconstructed on top of a cantaloupe wedge. The second time I mixed it all together, following the recipe, and served it in parfait glasses. Loved it!"

Pam from Sidewalk Shoes has a healthy new favorite to share this week, Watercress Salad with Pan-Seared Mahi Mahi. She says, "Just when you think you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, something like this recipe arrives. See…I love beef salads. Give me a salad, add a perfectly cooked piece of beef, sliced enticingly on the top, and I am in heaven. So, it stands to reason, why have I never thought to do this with fish? Why, indeed. This is genius. A fish salad. Who knew?"

And one gorgeously decadent sandwich to finish up the round up, Giada's Chocolate, Brie and Basil Panini adapted by girlichef. She says, "This is a seemingly odd combination... chocolate and brie together. In a sandwich. With basil, I might add. ... So, which list do you think this panini made it onto? Actually, the "good" list. I would, however, cut back a bit on the suggested amount of chocolate...and add to the amount of cheese (which are reflected in the lower and higher amounts in the ingredients I listed, respectively). I may not make it all that often, but I have a feeling a craving could creep up on me from time to time."

Wonderful warming soups, three healthy salads and one unique sandwich treat this week. Thanks to everyone who joined in and welcome to our new faces. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, click on the Souper Sundays logo on my side bar or tab under the header for all of the guidelines and details.

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. A wonderful way to welcome Jamie! Filling and nutritious, and I love the hit of thyme.

  2. Your chickpea, leek and parm soup sounds and looks wonderful! Actually they all are looking pretty good. I am going to have to come back and spend more time checking them all out.

  3. Wow That looks great! Too funny, tonight I made Chickpea and Chicken Sausage!

  4. What a lovely spread Deb!
    the chickpea soup sounds so easy and delicious.

  5. yummy round-up! especially that chocolate panini :)

  6. What a wonderful looking assortment of delicious soups and sides. Thanks for letting me join in.

  7. You had me at chickpeas and leeks which I really truly am obsessed with at the moment! Jamie would totally adore that you made healthy!

  8. What a fantastic way to welcome Jamie! That sounds wonderful and with the bread to sop it all up...I totally want some :D Beautiful roundup =)

  9. Congrats on 150 soups! I think it's safe to say that you're a soup aficionado for sure. Hooray for Jamie too. Love that you doubled up the chickpeas in the soup. Looks extra hearty and satisfying.

  10. I love the color of your chickpea soup. It really sounds delicious. I also love the other entries in this weeke's Souper Sunday. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  11. Thank you for capturing mine again! What am out of ten or possibly even worse! Thank you for your kind comments about Scrappycat.

  12. This sounds delicious! Perfect for the colder weather we're having. I love a good soup recipe so I'm thrilled that you have 150 recipes to explore on your beautiful blog! These flavors sound like they'd be wonderful together.

  13. Jamie is so cute! And the soup sounds so good - I love me some chickpeas! A delicious and inspiring round-up, as always!

  14. Thank you for the warm welcome, I'm really looking forward to cooking with the club! Its great getting to cook to a theme like this, Jamie Oliver is quite inspiring and I can't wait to see peoples' spin on his recipes. I'm new to blogging and cooking in general and have been incredibly impressed with everything I've seen!

    I am definitely going to have to try the chickpea, potato and leek soup, it looks amazing! Soup sounds really good with the wet, chilly spring ahead. Lately I've been trying to find some light but filling meatless comfort food and this soup is perfect!

  15. I thought I knew all of Jamie's books! I was wrong. I had never heard of "Soup Kitchen". I'll have to check it out. If you like soup, I have tried 4 or 5 of his soup recipes found in his other books and they all turned out great. There is a spring minestrone that I can't wait to try again when all the snow here disappears :-)

  16. Jamie's soup sounds so satisfyingly good! I'm so excited to be cooking his recipes for the next 6 months and have already been perusing through his web-site for recipes. Love Heather's panini to end up this great round-up!


Mahalo for visiting and for leaving a comment. I love reading them and they mean a lot!

All advertising, spam, inappropriate (or just plain rude) comments will be promptly deleted. I do appreciate your right to free speech and to your opinion but I'm not into mean, rude, or mean snarky (non-mean snarky is just fine!) ;-)