Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Chickpea soup with mint and lemon
Recipe bookmarks tend to pile up and get out of control if you're a person like me. I am always adding more to the list and my occasional attempts to cull the older ones that have been hanging around for a while doesn't really seem to work. I guess I am addict when it comes to hoarding recipes!
I bookmarked a chickpea, lemon and mint soup from Green Gourmet Giraffe almost two years ago now. Johanna had made an interesting soup from Stephanie Alexander's cooking bible The Cook's Companion which is a cookbook I was given as a wedding present many years ago. The main reason for bookmarking Johanna's post was to remind me to look this recipe up in my copy as the size of this book and the thousands of recipes within can be rather daunting at times.
With some mint in the fridge that needed using up and a few lemons on my tree that were finally ripe, now was the perfect time to give this a try. I did forget to buy celery that was intended for the soup when I was out shopping and made a few vegetable alerations. Stephanie's method was different to other soups I had made and I didn't really follow her instructions and used my intuition more than anything. As I prefer my soup to be on the thicker side, I decreased the amount of stock which turned out to be a wise decision.
The only issue I had with the recipe was the amount of lemon that was written in the ingredients, it was listed as the juice of 2 lemons. Lemons come in various shapes and sizes and some are juicer than others. Like Johanna, I only used about one and a half lemons and found this to be on the strong side initially although the addition of the mint and parsley garnishes did a good job of balancing out the flavours. This soup was lovely and creamy and simple to make, it just requires a bit of planning ahead as the chickpeas need to be soaked in advance.
Chickpea soup with mint and lemon (Adapted from The Cook's Companion and Green Gourmet Giraffe)
250g dry chickpeas
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 leeks, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
6 cups vegetable stock
Juice of 1½ lemons (just under half a cup)
½ teaspoon salt
freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Soak the chickpeas in a bowl filled with water overnight or at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse thoroughly in a colander.
Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a stockpot and add the coriander and cumin seeds. When the seeds begin to sizzle and smell fragrant, add the leeks, carrot and potato. Cook for 10 minutes until the vegetables have softened, stirring occasionally. Add the chickpeas and vegetable stock, bring to the boil and simmer, covered for 1 - 1½ hours until the chickpeas are soft.
Transfer the contents to a blender and process in batches until smooth. Pour the soup back into the pot and reheat on low. Stir through the lemon juice and seasoning to taste. Ladle into bowls and garnish with mint and parsley.