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Wednesday, 21 November 2012

CHICKPEA SOUP

 
Good Morning to you,
 
I am sure you have seen many recipes for Chickpea soup in cookery books and magazines, but I would like to share with  you my version. Chickpea soup is a healthy soup and now we are approaching the season where we all tend to over indulge, this soup is a perfect counter balance.
 
It can be pulsed to create a smooth texture, or if you are like me, and prefer your soup with a bit of substance, you can leave it as it is, which I always find more satisfying.
 
 My version has a little "kick" to it, so if you are not a lover of heat, then I would suggest you add half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, rather than one teaspoon. It is a relatively quick and easy soup to make and takes about 40 minutes from start to finish.

 
 
Also, if you are a vegetarian, this is a perfectly delicious soup for you.
 
You will see that I have used frozen spinach.  When I decided to make this soup I only had frozen spinach to hand. If you have fresh spinach, so much the better, but if I am honest, I always have frozen spinach in the freezer for moments like this.

THE INGREDIENTS
 
 
400g tin of chickpeas
400g tin of tomatoes, chopped
1 heaped tsp cayenne pepper
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic
100g Bulgar wheat
1 1/2 litres of vegetable stock
2tblsp of olive oil
Salt and pepper
  
 
5 portions of frozen spinach
1/2 bag of fresh if you prefer
  
 
Juice and rind of a lemon
   
 
 Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a wide pan
 and place over a medium heat.
 
 
 Add the sliced onions and saute until
golden brown.
Do not allow the heat to be too high as
this will burn the onions. 
We want a nice golden colour.
This is important as the onions add a depth of flavour to the soup. 
 
 
 Add chopped garlic and cook for a
further 2 minutes.
  
 
Add 1 heaped teaspoon of  Cayenne Pepper 

  
 Add Bulgar wheat and stir until the grains are coated with the mixture.
 
 
Add Bouillon granules to 1 1/2 pints
of hot water.
If you have vegetable stock which you
 have made yourself, even better. 
 
 
Add the tomatoes, spinach and vegetable stock. 
Place the lid on the pan and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
 
Add the chickpeas and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
 
Add the grated rind of a lemon
and half of the lemon's juice,
remember to add a little at a time and taste, if the soup needs more lemon then add more until you are happy with the taste.
 
Check for seasoning and add  salt and pepper
Simmer for a few minutes

 
 I prefer to leave this soup to cool for 10-15 minutes, by doing this you will find the Bulgar wheat swells even more.  Plus the flavours are enhanced.  If a soup is piping hot, there is too much heat and the flavours are lost.
 
You could replace the chickpeas with butter beans, or beans of your choice.  The reason I have used tin chick peas in this recipe is for speed. Other wise I would use dried chickpeas.
 
I hope you enjoy making my version of Chickpea Soup..... it really is delicious and with a slice of crusty bread, what more could you ask for. 
 
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in America, so to all my American friends, I would like to wish you a "Happy Thanksgiving".
 
Take care and I will see you later in the week.
 
This week I shall be joining the following parties,
 
 
 
   

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