Apr 25, 2010

Rain, Rain Go Away

It rained here all day Saturday and we were cooped up inside. I had a bag of dried chickpeas in the pantry that I’ve been meaning to turn into something for forever, so I used them to make this soup. If you don’t have a rainy afternoon to spend at the stove you can certainly use canned chickpeas – just add an extra cup or two of stock and little more water to your soup to thin it.

Creamy Chickpea Soup

A trip in the food processor and a little bit of coconut milk turn protein-rich chickpeas into a thick and creamy soup. The recipe makes enough for 6-8 small cups or 4 big bowls.

What You Need:
2 cups dried chickpeas
3 TB salt
1 TB peeled and chopped ginger
1 clove peeled and chopped garlic
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1 tea garam masala spice mix
5.5 oz. can coconut milk
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup water
1-2 TB hot chili sauce (optional)
salt & pepper to taste

How you make it:
Place chickpeas in a big pot, cover with 8-10 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a slow simmer and partially cover pot. Cook until beans are tender (45mins-1hr), add 3 tablespoons of salt, replace lid and continue to cook until beans are soft, adding more water as needed to keep the beans covered.

Place garlic and ginger in the bowl of a food processor and chop until they are finely minced. Working in two or three batches, add beans with their cooking water, cilantro, and garam masala and puree until a smooth paste forms.

Place bean paste, coconut milk, water and stock in the same large pot over medium heat and stir well to combine. Add chili sauce, if using, and continue to stir until soup is thinned out and all lumps are gone. Since the cooking water was well salted you may not need to add any more salt, but take a taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. 

NOTE: If could take as long as three hours to cook the dried beans - it will depend quite a bit on how old they are. So don't start the process unless you have a long afternoon to work, or cook the beans the night before, refrigerate them in their cooking water and continue the soup the next day. You can also pre-soak the beans, but that only really cuts thirty minutes or so from the cooking time.

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