Today was a soup day in Vancouver. The sky was cloudy and rainy but it wasn’t dull or gray. It was quite pleasant and welcoming to hear the rain pattering against the glass window by the kitchen. All that was missing was a bowl of heartwarming soup.
This leeks and chickpeas soup that fills your heart with wonder because it’s so flavourful. It’s chock full of goodness filled with aromatic vegetables, chickpeas and some potatoes and a bundle of herbs – that’s it! It is a perfect bowl of soup if I should say so for a day like this or for when you need a little dose love, give or take.
I would recommend that you use dried chickpeas that you would have to pre-soak first but tinned chickpeas will do too. Chickpeas are also called garbanzo beans. And they are delicious to eat. I am sure you’ve had in them in their various incarnations, i.e. hummus, falafel, or chana masala?
For this recipe, you will need two pots; one big soup pot and a smaller pot. If you are using tinned chickpeas, you can make this soup in one pot but if you’re using pre-soaked chickpeas, you’ll need two. You’ll see why in a minute.
To boil together first:
1. In a smaller pot, boil the chickpeas, potatoes, celery, carrot and bouquet garni in water, lightly salted, for 1 hour. Add enough water to cover all ingredients.
2. As you’re close to the 1 hour mark, say 15 minutes left, saute the leeks, chopped carrots and celery in butter and oil. Season well with salt and pepper. Cook the vegetables until they wilt and become tender. Add the cumin seeds in and continue cooking until you can smell the perfume of the cumin and the aromatic vegetables.
3. Take the smaller pot and pour all of its contents into the large pot of sauteed vegetables (If you’re using canned chick peas, now is the time to add them in). You can fish out the bouquet garni if you want but leave the carrots and celery sticks in. The potatoes will be falling apart and that is what you want. The starch will thicken the soup nicely. Break the larger potato pieces with the back of your spoon, if necessary.
4. Pour 1 litre of hot water in and stir. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper. Let the soup simmer for another 15-20 minutes. If the soup is too thick add a bit more water.