One of my favorite ways to eat chickpeas is in soup. Not just any soup, but one so simple that it’s hard to believe it can pack as much flavor as it does. And it’s a perfect match for this blog, as will become clear in a minute.
The soup is based on chickpeas and the water they are cooked in, which becomes amazingly flavorful, almost like a stock. It’s particularly excellent if you’re using chickpeas for something else anyway (say, if you’re doing fancy meal prep!). I add bay leaves, salt, peppercorns, and sometimes chili flakes or fresh chili to the cooking water. When the chickpeas are tender, I simply scoop out a ladle of chickpeas and broth. Then I add a few olives, some cilantro, a good glob of olive oil, and a generous squeeze of lemon. And it is delicious. You can also add Harissa (North African chili paste), you can serve the soup with bread, or spice it up with additional veggies. But try the basic version first, I think you’ll be surprised how good it is. The recipe is below.
Chickpeas and Broth
- 2 deciliter dried chickpeas
- 500-700 ml water
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- chili (to taste)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 handful fresh cilantro (mainly leaves)
- 10 black olives
- olive oil (to taste)
- lemon (to taste)
Cook the chickpeas in plenty of water along with the spices until they are tender. How long this takes depends on how dry/old the chickpeas are, but it could be anywhere from 30-90 minutes. When they are done, remove the bay leaves and whole chilis if you used them, but don't drain the water!
Ladle cooked chickpeas and their broth into bowls. Garnish each bowl with black olives and torn cilantro leaves. Add a nice glob of olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon on top of the soup, and then you're ready to serve.