Recipe Source: Lambraki, Myrsini. Greek Cuisine: An Easy Guide for All. Ellinika Grammata, Athens, 2002 p. 66.
My husband and I recently returned from a "vacation." We were off camping in the wilds of western Pennsylvania with a large group of friends. Now, I'm sure that there are vegetables somewhere in Western Pennsylvania, but where we were the selections were pretty slim. As a result, our diet for the entire week consisted almost entirely of meat. When we got home, I found myself stricken with some sort of illness that left me with absolutely no energy to cook whatsoever. This meant lots of dining out and lots of take out, when I could get out of bed to think about food at all. At any rate, by the time that I was recovered enough to start cooking again, I obviously wanted something light, something healthy. Meat would be limited at best. I had been trying to find a honey cake recipe in this cookbook, but I came across this recipe and decided to make it. I also decided to enter it into the blogging event, "My Legume Love Affair," hosted by Susan at The Well Seasoned Cook.
I did make several changes to the original. First, I used a 25 oz can of chickpeas instead of dried. While I realize that dried chickpeas are supposed to be more flavorful, using the canned variety allows me enough flexibility to accommodate my husband's and my frankly hectic schedules. Using a high-quality brand of chickpea helps to alleviate any loss of flavor. Anyway, using canned chickpeas forced me to change some of the procedural aspects of the recipe as well. I used some of the water from the can as the water for the soup, to retain some of the chickpeas' flavor and nutrients. At the end of the cook time, just before serving, I added the juice of one lemon and I cut up another lemon and added it to the soup in slices. My husband, while mostly over the Great Lemon Craving of 2008, has always been very fond of lemon and I wanted to increase the lemon flavor. The results were pretty amazing. My husband was pretty disappointed when he learned we would be having only chickpea soup and bread for dinner - "We need meat!" he cried - but he really enjoyed the soup and barely left any leftovers.
Chickpea Soup (serves 4; approx. $1.25/serving)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 25-oz can chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved
1 large onion, grated
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon flour
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- Large pot
- Food processor (optional; makes grating the onion much less unpleasant.)
- Heat the oil in the pot.
- Add the onion and saute until softened, about 3 - 4 minutes.
- Add the chickpeas and stir.
- Add 8 cups of water plus the liquid from the canned chickpeas.
- Bring to a boil, cover, and cook 30 - 45 minutes.
- Season with kosher salt and black pepper to taste.
- Mix the flour with the lemon juice and add to the chickpeas.
- Boil uncovered for about 10 minutes and remove from heat.
- Transfer to the serving vessel, if using.
- Cut one lemon in half and squeeze the juice directly into the soup.
- Slice the other lemon into thin slices and place on top of the soup.
- Serve hot or at room temperature.