Friday, January 7, 2011

Chickpea and Leek Soup

I sometimes buy things at the market and by the time I try to cram them in my refrigerator, I’m wondering what I was thinking. Leeks tend to be one of those things- they look so delicious, colorful, and savory and then suddenly they are inside my house and awkward (and usually a bit on the dirty side). This soup has become a regular favorite of mine, it started from a Jamie Oliver recipe- but I admit I think I manage to alter the recipe every time I make it.

First off it is important to clean the leeks- this seems more intimidating than it is (I can tell because they sell pre-cleaned trimmed leeks at Trader Joes). To clean the leeks I slice lengthwise up the center then slice them into very thin rounds and soak them in an enormous bowl of cold water (give them a big swirl every once in a while). I know this sounds a bit crazy but the dirt tends to settle to the bottom of the bowl and the leeks float. You can use a slotted spoon to collect the leeks off the top.

Recipe (not set in stone):

2 cups or cans of chickpeas depending if you make them from dry or buy canned.

2- 3 leeks depending on size (green and white portions thinly sliced)

3 cloves of garlic

1 knob of butter

3- 4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock

1 small boiled potato (optional)

parmesan cheese

extra virgin olive oil

Add some oil, butter, leeks and garlic to a large pot and a pinch of salt and let the leeks sweat and reduce on low until the leeks are sweet.

Add the chickpeas and stock and bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes. Using a hand blender or regular blender- puree soup. I like to leave a few chunky parts to it for texture. Season with salt pepper and top off with parmesan. I like to serve it with a crostini and top it off with a drizzle of olive oil.

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