Friday, 20 September 2013

Sure To Please, Quick- Chick Peas!

Zuppa Veloce di Ceci & Pomodoro, con Coriandolo e Basilico- Piccante
Quick, Spicy Tomato & Chickpea Soup with Coriander & Basil

Call them garbanzo's, call them chick-peas... just make sure you always have a couple of cans of them in your pantry for the Winter months- because nothing is surer to please than a bowl full of these! I love the way that you can flavor chick-peas in so many ways- they are very, very versatile! And who would have known, when my dear old mother only ever made 1-2 variations of pasta soups with them... I shall have to show her there is so much more that can be done with them the next time I fly to the Old Country ;-)

This evening, I was home late from the office and a few errands, and it was chilly outside- so I got home cold and hungry! As I had a few chores to tend to, I decided I should make something that didn't need constant attention, that would take care of itself in a half hour of simmering away... and behold the fruits of my invention!

To make this little flavor sensation, I ground a half teaspoon of coriander seeds with my mortar and pestle and started the roasting in a dry saucepan. Once they began to smell more aromatic and became slightly toasted, I added the chick-peas, straight from the can, initially without the broth. I added a chopped Spring onion, 2 diced tomatoes, a little chopped garlic, a little chopped ginger, a tablespoon of Garam Masala, salt, pepper and a pinch of cayenne. 

With the heat nice and high, I cooked everything together, making sure that the spices and flavors combined and coated everything nicely. I then added enough boiling water to cover everything by an inch or so, reduced the heat to a simmer and let the soup do it's own thing for another 15-20 minutes. It is ready when the tomato is almost completely cooked away and has become a nice, red broth- you can't get much easier than that!

Just before serving, I adjusted the seasoning as it needed a little more salt, added a tiny squeeze of lemon juice, a handful of finely chopped chives and 9-10 leaves of basil. Once these had wilted down, the soup was ready! All of the wonderful essential oils of the basil and chives added a fresh richness to the soup which would have been lost had they been allowed to cook for to long... this way, they made the already rich and spicy soup even more delicious!

A splash of vinegar or more lemon would have also been a nice variation- or a combination of that and some honey to make it sweet and sour... as I said- these things are so versatile! So have at em' and enjoy!

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