Mezze & Dolce

Light Mediterranean Meals Paired with Ample Dessert

Mezze: Herbed Chickpea Soup

Good final

Recently I’ve been thinking about how I got here – clanging pans in the kitchen, chowing on spices named “dukkah,” posting about culinary inspirations. If I look back, I’m pretty sure that the seeds of my foodie-ism – especially my love of light, nutrient-rich meals – started at my Aunt Jacqueline’s table. Because of Jacqueline’s couscous dishes and soups, I was the rare kid who often thought that home-cooked vegetarian food trumped burgers and fries. In fact, I’m pretty sure that when I first stopped eating meat, I fantasized that my cooking would automatically taste like hers. Jacqueline doesn’t like to spend too much time cooking these days, but I still give her partial credit for setting me on this amazing Mezze & Dolce path.

This recipe is adapted from one of her favorite cookbooks, the Angelica Home Kitchen. The soup infuses a chickpea base with rosemary, sage, and lots of garlic. I added in a potato to give the soup a smoother consistency, and upped the amount of lemon juice and herbs to give it a flavorful punch. It pairs nicely with this light brussels sprouts salad and olive focaccia bread. Oh, and you could round it off with Jacqueline’s famous heirloom mandelbread (Jewish biscotti) recipe, too. –jaime

Ingredients

2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked or 3 cans of canned chickpeas***

6 cups water

1 stalk celery

1 bay leaf

1 branch fresh rosemary

4 fresh sage leaves

1 medium russet potato, peeled and cubed

1/4 cup olive oil

2 cups diced onions (around 1 large onion)

1/4 cup garlic cloves

Juice of 1 1/2 lemons

Salt & freshly ground pepper

***Note: I highly recommend using fresh chickpeas and soaking them with Mark Bittman’s quick-soak method. It’s simple – you can leave the pot unattended for a couple of hours and voila! You’ve got edible chickpeas. If you decide to go the canned route, you should cook the chickpeas for half of the time (15 minutes) before adding the potato.

Directions

1. Place chickpeas through sage in a large pot over high heat. Bring mixture to boil, lower heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.

2. Add potato cubes to pot and cook for another 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

3. Meanwhile, place olive oil in a frying pan over low heat. Add onions and garlic and stir on low heat while soup is cooking and until they’re soft. The point is to cook them slowly and for a long time (25-30 mins) so make sure to keep the heat low.

4. When the chickpeas are finished cooking, remove celery, herbs, and 3 cups of water (you can scoop water out with a measuring cup).

5. Add the onion, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Puree with a hand processor or blender until smooth. Adjust for seasoning.

Good garlic cloves

Good pot

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5 comments on “Mezze: Herbed Chickpea Soup

  1. moveeatcreate
    February 26, 2013

    Oh, this looks so warm and tasty! And, it sounds like you were very fortunate to have an Aunt Jacqueline around! 🙂

    • mezzeanddolce
      March 1, 2013

      Thanks moveatcreate! Very lucky indeed. Do you have any friends or family who inspire you to cook?

  2. Pingback: Inspiring Ingredient: Chickpea | Mezze & Dolce

  3. Pingback: Mezze: Lentil, Mozzarella and Nectarine Salad | Mezze & Dolce

  4. Pingback: Inspiring Ingredient: Lemon | Mezze & Dolce

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This entry was posted on March 8, 2013 by in Mezze, Soups and tagged , , , , , .

About Jacque & Jaime

Jaime and Jacque are two gals who discovered a mutual passion for Mediterranean flavors and ingredients and never turned back. They started Mezze & Dolce to share this love, their recipes, and their inspirations with the world. Follow them at www.mezzeanddolce.com.

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