Thursday, January 13, 2011

Kale & Chickpea Soup

This is the most fabulous soup. Man oh man it is good. New Year, a little frugality, a little lighter eating, perhaps a little less complex, and the man hoping for a little less washing up (like that's going to happen). This recipe was featured on serious eats which, as a serious eater, I subscribe to. Sounded right for the time of year and substantial enough with some bread to be a proper dinner. I duly printed it off and amassed the ingredients and then looked a little more closely at the brief instructions while the chickpeas cooked. They didn't quite make sense - too much going in too soon, perhaps there was insufficient flavour, timings seemed highly unlikely.

I was suddenly assailed by doubt.

I had already beaten the eggs and grated the cheese so it was too late to back off. I tweaked instead, and fussed and worried right up to the first mouthful. Wow. This soup is seriously good, full of flavour and wonderful textures and pretty as a picture.

Kale & Chickpea Soup

I used chicken stock as I have loads in the freezer but you could as well use a vegetarian stock or the water from cooking the chickpeas as a base

Serves 4

125g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight with a little pinch of bicarb of soda
1 bay leaf
1 litre chicken stock

750ml water - or save the water from cooking the chickpeas, something I thought of after it had all gone down the sink :(
2 large dried chillies
Rind of Parmesan
75g small pasta like ditalli
1 bunch spring onions, sliced, whites and greens divided
1/2 tsp of fresh grated nutmeg
150g chopped kale

4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Freshly ground black pepper
A little lemon juice, perhaps a teaspoon
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Drain and rinse the soaked chickpeas and put into a large pan. Add the bay leaf, cover with water and cook until tender, about 30-40 minutes. Add the stock, dried chillies, white bits of spring onion, grated nutmeg and the Parmesan rind and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the pasta and stir well to stop it sticking. Simmer, stirring occasionally till the pasta is cooked. Fish out and discard the bay leaf, chillies and rind.

Stir in the chopped kale and stir for a minute till it wilts, about a minute.

Slowly pour the beaten eggs into the soup, stirring constantly. Cook for a couple of minutes till the egg is lightly creamy. Season with salt and fresh black pepper. Add the spring onion green bits and Parmesan and stir briefly. Taste, then add a little lemon juice just to lift it, not to add a lemon flavour.

Serve in big bowls with crusty bread.

Yum. Mid week joy.


Gemma said...

That looks and sounds delicious, I need to bookmark this one.

bron said...

Hope you like it Gemma, it's pretty much perfect for now.

curlywurlyfi said...

I love kale + chickpea soup, tho my version is a bit more pared down (no nutmeg, no egg). If you don't have Parmesan rind, a judicious shot of lemon juice lifts it no end. Freezes v well for work lunches, too. Best of all, doesn't taste like healthfood!

bron said...

Curlywifi I am so with you on that - I hate food that tastes like healthfood!