Thursday, 30 September 2010

Chickpea and Leek Soup

Leeks are in season now, and are so versatile. Here's a great little soup recipe from Jamie Oliver. It's easy, quick and costs practically nothing. This is just the thing you need for lunch to keep you going on a chilly Autumn day. You'll thank me for this one!
Makes 6 portions
340g chickpeas, soaked overnight then rinsed, and boiled for about 1 hour
(or use tinned, as I did. Sorry Jamie!)
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
5 medium leeks
1 tbsp olive oil
knob of butter
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
salt and pepper
850ml/1 1/2 pints vegetable or chicken stock
parmesan cheese, to taste
extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

First, prep your leeks. Remove the outer skin, slice lengthways, wash carefully and slice finely.

Warm a heavy-based pan, and add the tbsp of oil and the knob of butter. Add the leeks and garlic to the pan, and sweat gently with a good pinch of salt until tender and sweet. This will take about 5 minutes.

Add the drained chickpeas and potato and cook for 1 minute.

Add two thirds of the stock and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Now decide of you want to puree the soup, or leave it chunky and brothy. Or do as Jamie suggests, and puree just half the soup, leaving the rest whole- this gives a lovely smooth feel but still retains a bit of texture.

Now add enough remaing stock to achieve the consistency you like, check for seasoning, and stir in some grated generous!

Serve in a big bowl, with a drizzle of olive oil, a grinding of black pepper and an extra sprinkling of parmesan.
Miss P's Top tip: Buy the best butter you can afford! I'm not one for spending a fortune on food, but quality butter and olive oil will really enhance the flavours in your cooking. Especially in soups or dishes where there are few ingredients used.

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