Curry Chickpea Soup

Chickpea soup is a traditional Greek dish which unfortunately I usually find quite bland. However that does not mean it can get interesting very easily. Furthermore, because so much flavour comes form the rest of the ingredients in this recipes, you can get away with canned (i.e cooked) chickpeas although I do not recommend it.

I will give you approximate quantities in volume, as I find it is much more useful to train the eye to relative quantities than remember exact numbers. I highly recommend you use proper measures not the spoons or cups you use otherwise which can be very misleading.

  • Chickpeas, 1 lt

Soak in a lot of salted water overnight. Drain, and put in a pot with cold water. Place on high heat. As the temperature of the water starts to rise, foam will form on the surface. Be there to observe and remove with a slotted spoon. Once the water begins to boil hard, slightly reduce temperature, cover the pot and boil for as long as needed to soften the chickpeas. The time will vary greatly depend on chickpea quality. I have cooked them in 45 minutes (superior quality), but also have thrown them away after 3 hrs... I would suggest for supermarket brands you start testing at 60 minutes and expect to be over at most at 100 minutes. Reserve them in their cooking liquid until use. You will also use the cooking liquid for this recipe so keep it.

In a medium sized pot over medium heat, lightly saute:

  • Fennel, finely diced, 100 ml, roughly 1/2 cup

  • Carrot, coarsely grated, 100 ml, roughly 1/2 cup

After a few minutes add:

  • Curry powder, 1 tsp, 5 ml (see here a note on spices).

  • Salt, 1/4 tsp at least

  • Chickpeas

and toss around to coat the chickpeas as the curry warms up and scents the kitchen (see note on optional addition). Then add:

  • Mustard, a mild one, 1 tbsp, 15 ml

mix well, and barely cover the surface with the cooking liquid. Simmer for 10 minutes. Adjust flavour with some acid like lemon juice and more salt if necessary. Finally, off heat add:

  • Dill, finely chopped, 1 - 2 tbsp

Note: I like to deglaze the pot with Ouzo, a greek alcoholic drink with strong aniseed flavour. It pairs well with the fennel and dill.