The first time I ate chickpea soup was only a year ago. Yes really!
In fact, the first time I ate chickpeas in my life was at the ripe old age of 21, while camping at the island of Sifnos. I was not prepared for the flavor of this dish. Even thinking about it after all these years makes my mouth water. I really questioned my life choices at that point. That’s how much I loved it.
Tradition has it that they cook the beans all night in clay pots on a wooden stove to make a stew dish. On Sundays, after church, they share the food among the villagers and their guests. I highly recommend it if you’ve never been there.
Anyway, back to the chickpeas.
Since then I usually cooked them in a casserole dish trying to replicate that traditional stew. Occasionally I just boiled them and added them to my salads for added protein.
Now, I do have to admit that their skin can be a little on the harder side sometimes. This may deter some people from eating them. In my experience, if you soak the beans overnight the skin becomes very soft and it is totally edible. On the other hand you can either remove the skins or just buy them skinless. Bear in mind that the skinless might become a little mushy upon cooked though.
In the recipe below I use a pressure cooker but you can totally make this on the stove. Just be sure to use a heavy-bottomed pot to prevent your chickpeas from scorching. You would also need to add more water and simmer them for up to three times longer.
I personally like cooking chickpeas in the pressure cooker not only because it saves me time but it also makes them a lot softer and creamier. I encourage you to try both methods and decide which you like best.
- 500 gr chickpeas
- 1 tbsn baking soda
- 3 carrots cut in coins
- 2 small onions cut in the round
- 1 lemon juiced
- 170 ml olive oil divided
- 1 bay leaf
- 1.5 lt vegetable broth or water
- Soak chickpeas overnight in water and baking soda. Strain and rinse. Place chickpeas in the pressure cooker and add broth or water.
- Let them boil and remove foam using a spoon.
- Add half a cup olive oil, the carrots, the onions and the bay leaf. Pressure cook on HIGH for 30 min. Open the lid using the quick release method. If you don't know how to do that it's best to read your pressure cookers manual.
- Boil the soup until it reaches the consistency that you like best. Add the lemon juice and serve. Drizzle with the rest of the olive oil.
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