Chickpea Soup

Chickpea Soup

Soup 2

Chickpea Soup

Pale, golden, chickpeas, sometimes called garbanzo beans, are an excellent, low-cost source of protein, and are rich in fiber, protective plant chemicals, and vitamin E.  Chickpeas need to be soaked for several hours, then boiled for at least 1 1/2 hours.  Chickpeas bought prepared in cans are excellent and still contain the important nutrients.  Chickpeas are often eaten in the form of hummus, a Middle Eastern dip, but they can be used to replace meat or poultry in soups, stews, and casseroles.  Cooked chickpeas are also ground into flour, which is used widely in Middle Eastern and Indian cooking.  It is an alternative to wheat flour in many recipes, including batters, breads, and soups.  The weather is beginning to turn a bit cooler so I thought that a nice soup was in order. 

INGREDIENTS

2 1/4 Cups Dried Chickpeas (Soaked in Cold Water Overnight)

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Chopped Onion

3 Minced Garlic Cloves

1 Pound Trimmed and Sliced Swiss Chard

3 Fresh Rosemary Sprigs

2 Cups Canned Tomatoes (With Juice)

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

Slices of Crusty Italian Bread To Serve With Soup

Drain chickpeas and place in large-size saucepan.  Cover with fresh cold water and bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface with a slotted spoon.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours, until tender, topping off with water if necessary.  Drain chickpeas, reserving the cooking water.  Season chickpeas with kosher salt and pepper.  Place 2/3 chickpeas in a food processor or blender with some of the reserved cooking water and process until smooth.  Add more of the cooking water if necessary, to achieve a soup consistency.  Return to saucepan.  Heat olive oil in a medium-size saucepan.  Add onions and garlic.  Cook over a medium heat.  Stir a few times and cook until onion is soft.  Add Swiss chard and rosemary.  Cook for 4 minutes.  Add tomatoes and remaining chickpeas.  Cook for another 7 minutes until tomatoes have broken down to an almost smooth sauce.  Remove the rosemary sprigs.  Add Swiss chard and tomato mixture to the chickpea puree.  Simmer for 4 minutes.  Ladle into warmed soup bowls and serve with crusty Italian bread.  Serves 6

 

 

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