Sunday, September 22, 2013

Simple Chickpea Soup: Sometimes Simple is Best for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

This week I wanted a chickpea soup--both because brothy bean soups are my favorite kind and there may be slightly too many cans of chickpeas in my pantry at the moment. I looked on line for some inspiration, perhaps a different kind of chickpea soup but instead I found myself going back to Michael Pollan's Simple Chickpea Soup. Made with just a few ingredients--nothing different or special, but it was exactly what I was craving.

I did make a few changes--I reduced the olive oil because saving a few calories and fat grams is never a bad thing. I also added a sprig of rosemary from my herb pots because I love how it pairs with beans and used both water and a couple of cups of veggie garlic broth I had in my freezer. Sometimes simple is best.

Michael Pollan says, "This is a simple recipe made with simple ingredients. It was featured in a story about the food writer Michael Moss and I making lunch together in New York Times Dining Section on April 30, 2013."

Simple Chickpea Soup
Adapted from "Cooked" and 
(Serves 4-6
Total cook time about 1 hour 15 minutes
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
3 Tbsp olive oil, more for serving (I used 1 1/2 Tbsp)
1 clove garlic, slivered
2 (15.5-ounce) cans chickpeas
Juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste
Salt and pepper
Parmesan, optional

In a soup pot over medium heat, sauté onion in olive oil until onion is translucent and has lost its bite. Add garlic and cook until slightly colored.

Rinse chickpeas in cold water, then add to pot. Add water to pot until chickpeas are covered to the depth of 1 inch.

Cook over medium heat (soup should bubble, but not come to a full boil) for an hour, or until the chickpeas are soft and silky. Add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with grated Parmesan or a drizzle of good olive oil if desired.

Notes/Results: Just a perfectly lovely bowl of soup made out of a few basic ingredients. The chickpeas are tender and creamy, the lemon brightening without overpowering, and the rosemary complementing everything nicely. I didn't use the Parmesan on my first bowl but, I tossed some on the leftovers and it is a nice addition. Beyond chopping up the onion and slicing the garlic, the soup does the rest of the work itself, bubbling away on the stove for an hour. Perfect to start on a rainy afternoon while relaxing and reading a book, smelling the delicious aroma, then tucking into it for dinner with some crusty bread. I will make this soup again. 

We have a great group of friends here with soups and salads in the Souper Sundays kitchen, let's take a look.

Janet of The Taste Space shares an exotic curry dish curry and says, "Fresh black eyed peas were new to me. I’ve tried dried black eyed peas before but trust me, there is a reason they call them black eyed peas. And no, I am not talking about their cute black mark. I am talking about the pea business. THEY TASTE LIKE PEAS! I never captured that flavour from dried or canned varieties. Not entirely sure whether this was a seasonal fresh bean, I snagged a bunch and ultimately decided to try this Goan Black Eyed Pea Curry. The tomato-coconut milk infused broth was tantalizing, spiced with ginger, coriander, cumin and tamarind with a bit of sweetness from maple syrup (use jaggery for a more authentic flavour). Exotic yet light, I served it with brown rice."

Sandra of Meadows Cooks is here with a hearty Turkey and Ginger Carrot Stew. She says, "I know what you're thinking: Is she insane, posting a turkey leftover recipe... in mid-September?? Well, you don't know my husband. He is crazy about roasted turkey. So much so that as soon as it got a little bit chilly he was buying a 20 pounder and roasting it up. Needless to say, we had some leftovers. Always the way with turkey. Just can't get around it, no matter how much you love the stuff. No family of three can consume an entire one in one sitting... at least I hope not. So, here we have an early way to use those turkey leftovers. You'll thank me in about a month... or three.

Graziana of Erbe in Cucina brings this satisfying Roasted Vegetables Chowder with Basil and says, "I have frozen a lot of basil for the winter, and I stored fresh leaves in the fridge chopped and covered with a little olive oil. This simple basil sauce should be used within a few days, and is perfect for pasta dishes, sandwiches, salad dressings, and hot or cold vegetable soups. I roasted some vegetables for this chowder, then added other ingredients and blended into a puree."

Shaheen from allotment2kitchen is back with a spicy Jamaican Butternut Squash Stew and says, "Oh my it was really flavourful. I really liked the gravy and the heat imparted from the scotch bonnet.  If the thought of Scotch Bonnet frightens you, then please feel free to exchange it for a milder red chilli. The stew was served with some plain white rice. The runner beans are my own addition (and probably not authentic in Caribbean cuisine)  I only added it to the stew as an afterthought because I had them and thought they would make a lovely addition.

Tigerfish of Teczcape - An Escape to Food shares a healthy salad and says, "Though red kale is similar in taste and texture to green kale, there is still a subtle difference in my opinion. Red kale smells so perfumy! Or maybe it is this bunch of organic red kale I bought? I am quite sure it does not smell bad, just too good to be true. Anyway, I made this Red Kale Mango Grape Salad sometime back when we were doing outdoor grilling quite often. It is a great accompaniment to grilled food - fish. ... As there are bountiful of grapes at the farmer's market now, why not make it again?"

Joyce of Kitchen Flavours made her version of and Ottolenghi dish, a Baby Spinach Salad with Cranberries and Almonds. She says, "This salad is so delicious! All the ingredients blends so well together. Crispy delicious tortilla seasoned from the sumac spices, nutty crunchy almonds, crispy onions, sweet dried cranberries which has softened slightly from soaking with the white wine vinegar, fresh green Spinach, a hint of sourness from the lemon juice, and the wonderful spicy taste from the flaked chilies and of course Sumac, a beautiful spice which I'm just learning to use. I just can't seem to stop eating this salad, before I know it, the whole plate is clean! Haha! I will definitely make this again. Yum!"

Pam of Sidewalk Shoes accompanied salmon with a colorful New Potato and Corn Salad with Basil Dressing and says, "I made this a little while ago, when fresh corn was at it’s peak.  It’s probably too late for fresh corn, but where I live right now the abundance of tomatoes, new potatoes and basil makes this a perfect option.  Just use frozen corn in place of the fresh and you are good to go. As I said on Monday, I am ready for fall and this dish is another perfect transition.  With it’s tomatoes and basil vinaigrette it has one foot in summer, but the potatoes and the corn give it more of fall-ish flair to me."

From Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog, a golden Fresh Peach and Sweet Potato Salad. She says, "I recently unexpectedly discovered that freshly sliced peaches and cold cooked sweet potato go great together. The sweet tartness of the fresh seasonal peach combined with some leftover cold sweet potatoes was a great surprise. I had made sweet potatoes the day before and had a few left in the refrigerator. When I saw the peaches, I just knew the flavors were  going to be a match. I wasn't disappointed!"

Thanks to everyone who joined in this week with their fabulous soup and salad creations. If you have a soup, salad, or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on my side bar for all of the details.

Have a happy, healthy week!



  1. www.teczcape.blogspot.comSeptember 22, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    I agree - simple is the best! Thanks for the round up.

  2. This is really as simple as it gets! And it's just delicious!

  3. Graziana Erbe in cucinaSeptember 24, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    Great recap, a lot of hot soups and fresh salads, perfect for this season

  4. I don't think I would have ventured to try something so simple.. but now my curiosity is piqued. Thanks, Deb, for another round-up. :)


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