Spiced Chickpea Soup

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Chickpeas are one of the most versatile products to have in your cupboard; packed with fibre, vitamins and minerals, such as iron.

Dried, tinned or ground as gram flour, chick peas will never leave you short of options in the kitchen.

This blended soup is a robust and comforting choice for lunch. The addition of fresh, sweet green peas is optional and the balance of spices can be varied according to personal taste.

Ingredients

  • 1 or 2 cups of cooked chick peas
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 400g tin organic chopped tomatoes
  • 1tsp. each ground coriander, cumin and fennel
  • ½ tsp. each ground turmeric and cayenne
  • ½ cup chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 tbsp. organic vegetable oil

Method

  1. Slice or chop the fennel, onion and garlic.
  2. Sauté the vegetables over a moderate heat, stirring them around until they start to soften.
  3. Add the spices and continue to cook for a few minutes to let them release their aromatic oils.
  4. Add the chick peas and chopped coriander (including their stalks) and stir to coat them with the spiced oil and softening vegetables.
  5. Pour in the tomatoes, adding a little water or vegetable stock if needed.
  6. Simmer for about 15 minutes before blending in a processor.
  7. Serve with a garnish of fresh or frozen green peas and minted yoghurt.*
  8. Minted yogurt – finely chop some fresh mint leaves and mix with plain yogurt and a squeeze of lime juice.

For those of you wishing to use dried chickpeas, here’s a little guide to give you a helping hand.

How to Cook Chickpeas

  • Dried chickpeas should be soaked overnight prior to cooking. Place the chick peas in a bowl and cover with cold water, leaving enough capacity for the beans to swell in volume.
  • The next day, drain and rinse the chickpeas, discarding the occasional dark or discoloured ones, place in a pan of water (covering them by a couple of inches), add a bay leaf and bring to the boil on a moderate heat.
  • Leave the chickpeas to simmer for about an hour. Check for softness and continue to cook for another 15 or 30 minutes if necessary.
Spiced chickpea soup with peas and bread

Let’s talk nutrition

Fennel is crunchy and slightly sweet with notes of anise and liquorice and is really versatile because you can use every part of it including the bulb, stalk, leaves and the seeds.

Coriander sometimes known as cilantro, is a member of the parsley family.  The cilantro greens (leafy part) provide fibre and phytonutrients, whilst also giving a pleasant flagrancy to a meal. Coriander seeds however, have a pleasing lemony flavour and floral aroma