Much dreamier than the sum of its modest parts. Nowhere near as plebeian as its ingredients suggests. Especially when you make chickpea soup, as I do, with all our wonderful Moroccan seasonings. The French term for chickpea is “pois chiches,” meaning something like pea’s poor relatives. Wow, if poor and modest could always taste like this chickpea soup (I for one think it always does), just give it to me! So many hummus joints have recently sprouted all over the city: chickpea spreads with all the fixings. But has anyone thought, as I did, about a liquid version? And completely vegetarian to boot? Rah-rah! By the way, chickpea soup is not entirely my invention, as we grew up with chickpea soup at home made with meat and served as a whole dinner.
My Chickpea Soup rated on TV!
This meatless and no-less-delicious version is entirely my idea, So I do get credit for this hybrid soup. And I am so proud of it I made it on a recent CBS morning show segment I was invited to. My plan was to knock their socks off with something very plebeian that tastes marvelous, and it worked beyond my expectations:
Talk about gastronomy sans argent!
Is it any wonder that Moroccan food is my first and most lasting culinary love?
Dry Chickpeas Only Please!
The only steak you need to take for the making of this soup is too soak the chickpeas. And then the rest is, all aboard in a pot and you’re there! So, need I ask? Don’t just open a can of chickpeas, and hope to get the luscious soup I am getting here with dried chickpeas, making the soup from scratch. To begin with, it is ridiculously low maintenance and costs pennies, so show it some love and soak this chickpeas!
- 1 pound dry chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
- 12 large cloves garlic
- ½ cup tehina (sesame paste)
- 1 large bunch cilantro, stems cut off
- 1 large bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves and stems
- 6 ribs celery, peeled
- Salt to taste
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 12 cups (3 quarts) water
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- Ground pepper to taste
Bring all but last 2 ingredients to a boil in a wide-bottom pot. Reduce the flame to medium and cook covered for 2 hours. Add the lemon juice and the pepper. Cream until smooth with an immersion blender. Adjust the texture and seasonings. Makes a dozen ample servings.