Greek-style Chickpea soup

April 1st 2014

chickpea
This simple recipe is a great way to enjoy chickpeas. Very popular in Greece, the ingredients and preparation are simple. The trick to flavor is the use of olive oil and slow cooking to produce a rich, and full flavored soup. This is what I like to call "refined peasant food" it's cheap, accessible, healthy, and feeds a small army.

Perfect with crusty bread, this dish can be served anytime of year, might I suggest you use Greek olive oil to get the full flavor. I used Organic canned chickpeas to cut down on cooking time and to make approachable for quick preparation on a weeknight after a long day at work. This is one of those things that is even tastier the next day and is great to make in large batches and freeze. Make it vegan friendly by using Veggie stock.
You will need:
1/2 Cup Greek Olive oil
2 medium onions, diced.
4 cloves garlic, minced.
2 ribs celery, diced.
2 carrots, peeled, diced.
1 #2 russet potato (medium),peeled, diced.
2 15 oz cans chickpeas, drained, rinsed.
1 15 oz can San Marzano tomatoes, crushed.
1 quart good stock, Vegetable or chicken.
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cracked ground pepper
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp dried oregano, preferably Greek
2 T. Fresh dill
2 T. Fresh parsley
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 Cups water
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Method:
Pour half the oil into a dutch oven or whatever vessel you cook your soup in, over medium heat, when oil is starting to bubble, add onions,red pepper flakes and garlic. Caramelize over medium low heat 30 minutes or until soft, golden, and sweet. Add carrots, celery, stir. Add chickpeas,potato, tomatoes, water, oregano, paprika, salt, pepper and stock. Turn heat to medium high, when the soup begins to simmer, turn heat to low and cook 1 hr, add fresh parsley and dill, drizzle remaining oil over the top of each serving and serve with lemon wedges. I like to blend mine with a emulsion blender, making sure to leave some texture, this leaves the soup with a velvety finish. I served mine with Chevre smeared baguette slices, but you can choose your own breadventure.