This is one of those soups that came from what was available in the fridge/larder on Monday as the cold weather set in and I woke to the first real frost of the winter. I think it’s a version of a Jamie soup I had years ago but couldn’t find the recipe so made my own. Alongside my wonderful new log burner that is making my chilly study finally habitable (just as well as I’ve got a new book to write this winter!), this soup is now added to my list of tips on how to work at home without running the heating too high! Easy warming recipes and plenty of dry logs make for happy me and contented dogs. And hopefully time to blog here as well…..
Serves 4/Prep 10 mins/Cook 25 – 30 mins
2 tbsp olive oil
3 large leeks, thinly sliced
3 medium floury potatoes such as King Edward, peeled and cubed
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 large sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves chopped
400g can chickpeas in water, drained
salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil and grated Parmesan to serve
1 Heat the oil in a heavy based pan, add the leek, potato, garlic and rosemary and sweat over a low heat for 5 minutes until softened but not browned, stirring to stop sticking. Add seasoning with 1 litre of cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 – 12 minutes until the potatoes are nearly tender.
2 Add half the chickpeas to the pan with their cooking liquid, return to the boil and cook for a further 5 minutes. Check seasoning. Whizz the soup in the pan with a stick blender until almost smooth then add the remaining chickpeas and simmer for a further couple of minutes. Check seasoning.
3 Spoon into warm serving bowls and serve with extra virgin olive oil for drizzling and grated Parmesan.
Cook’s tip: Dried chickpeas do have a wonderful flavour and texture, they seem to whiz up all silky smooth and satisfying in this soup, and when I am feeling particularly organised I might just get round to soaking some overnight. Just cover 200g dried chickpeas in cold water. Drain then put in a pan with plenty of fresh cold water to cover and flavourings of an onion, carrot, celery stick and bayleaf. Bring to the boil and cook for an hour or two until tender. Use the cooking liquid in the soup.
I might cook a big batch and toss any leftover chickpeas in olive oil then cover and keep in the fridge for up to three days for salads and stews. Or make hummus and put it in the freezer – a tip I learned from really talented local caterer Lili Jahanbani, who cooked wonderful vegetarian food for me at a recent yoga weekend with inspirational teacher Simon Low at Commonwork Farm near Sevenoaks.