Thursday, January 07, 2010

Chick pea soup

The world outside my window is struggling to reach zero. Ice on the pavements is a slick and shiny inch thick. Dangerous but probably not disastrous with a modicum of care. Which mainly involves moving slowly - which goes against all my natural inclinations - and not carrying much more than you need in a vain attempt to maintain my centre of balance. Nature versus nature really.

Decided mid week I really needed soup - thick hot and wholesome as possible. So I flicked through Lesley Bareham's Joy of Soup, pausing here and there to take in some details and imagine this one or that in a steaming bowl before turning the page to savour the next. Half way through the chapter on thick soups I came across one for chickpeas - which I love and have in my cupboard at all times (unless I've run out). It was simple, fairly subtle and as possible a contender as any of the others I had read right up till the last of the instructions for the preparation.

She says heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan and fry the eggs. Serve the soup and slip a fried egg into each bowl. Possibly the best instruction that can be found for any dish at all at this -or if I'm honest - pretty much any time of the year. Soon as I read it I could imagine the little wrist action necessary to 'slip' the egg under the surface. I could practically taste the half submerged surprise of texture and rich liquid.

Chick Pea Soup

250g chick peas, soaked overnight

4 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tbspn chopped flat leaf parsley

700ml vegetable stock

juice of 1/2 lemon

6 eggs - if you're serving 6 and want eggs

Cover the chickpeas with fresh water and bring to the boil in a large pan over a medium heat. Simmer gently for an hour till quite soft. Drain over a bowl and reserve 300ml of the cooking liquid.

Heat 2 tbspns of the olive oil in a pan an soften the onions and garlic. Transfer to a blender, add the parsley and 150ml of the stock and purée. Add the chickpeas with the reserved cooking liquid and purée again.

Return to a clean pan, add the rest of the stock, and simmer for ten minutes, stirring well. Season generously with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Just before serving, heat the rest of the olive oil and fry the eggs. Pour the soup into bowls, and slip a fried egg into each bowl.

Provide good bread for dunking and mopping.

Sadly the whole bowl didn't quite live up to that initial frisson. The soup was indeed lovely, thick and comforting, but not really needing the egg.

Plan to have the rest for supper Friday night, with duck fat toast instead of eggs, just to be greedy.


embroidery thread said...

i am hungry when i see your picture,by the way,it is fairly cood there?

bron said...

It is definitely way colder than cool here at the moment! Planning more soups...