As a long-time freelance food writer, Judith Hausman has written about every aspect of food, but local producers and artisanal traditions remain closest to her heart. Eating close to home takes this seasonal eater through a journey of delights and dilemmas, one tiny deck garden, farmers’ market discovery and easy-as-pie recipe at a time. She writes from a still-bucolic but ever-more-suburban town in the New York City ‘burbs.
Photo by Judith Hausman
Now, this one is a real pantry-sourced winner â€” hardy and flavorful for wintertime, as well as vegan and healthy as the dickens. Because the soup depends on the chickpeas (aka ceci or garbanzos) as the central ingredient, itâ€™s worth (and cheaper) soaking the dried ones overnight. Still, canned, rinsed chickpeas are acceptable too in a squeeze. And I think cannellini, or white kidney beans, cooked just a little longer, would be just as delicious, if they are already on your shelf.
The proportion of liquid I use yields a sturdy soup but you can add more broth or water if you prefer it thinner. Make the purÃ©e as chunky or smooth as you like, too. For herbs, I used rosemary to emphasize a Mediterranean palate but you might try cumin and cilantro to veer toward the Middle East. And a swirl of green-olive oil on top of each bowlful is another pretty garnish.
Chickpea Soup with Tomatoes and RosemaryServes 4
- 1/2 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
- 2 carrots,diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed or 1 stalk celery with leaves, diced
- 32 ounces vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, minced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- juice from half a lemon
Soften the onions and carrots (and the fresh celery if using) in the olive oil. Add chickpeas, bay leaf, celery seed (if using) and broth. Simmer gently until the chickpeas are completely soft, about an hour. Remove from heat and use a wand blender (or food processor) to puree the mix well. Add the tomatoes, rosemary and lemon juice. Season to taste and reheat, thinning if desired.