Winter warmer: Moroccan chickpea soup

Winter has embraced Auckland this year as lovingly as a cold-hearted mistress pouncing on her next prey. Prolonged weeks of courting filled with warm days and false promises, then suddenly boom, nothing but cold and empty bitterness.

Instead of drowning your sorrows in alcohol, however, you can beat the winter blues with a serving of nice, hot soup. I stumbled upon this Moroccan chickpea soup recipe on BBC Good Food, and after trying it out, it was too good and too easy not to share.

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All you need to make a hearty and filling soup.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, sliced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 600ml hot vegetable stock
  • 400g can diced plum tomatoes with garlic
  • 400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 100g frozen broad beans (or any beans, honestly it doesn’t matter. More on this later)
  • zest and juice ½ lemon
  • large handful coriander or parsley

Getting started

You’ll notice that the recipe calls for just 600ml of stock, to serve four people. 600ml. For four human adults.

Not in this household. I promptly doubled the quantities for all the ingredients, and I recommend you do the same.

Anyway, heat the oil in a large saucepan, and fry the onion and celery on a low heat for about 10 minutes, making sure you’re constantly stirring. When everything’s pretty much softened, add the cumin and stir for one more minute.

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Celery, while barely edible raw, is one of my favourite veges when fried.

Taking stock

Add the stock, tomatoes and chickpeas, some black pepper to taste, then leave it on high heat for an additional 10 minutes or so.

You can use any type of canned, diced tomatoes you wish – I went for one with basil and garlic.

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Place your hands near your computer screen and just feel that warmth.

Towards the end of the process, add the beans (couldn’t find broad beans at my local supermarket, so just went for a can of five bean mix) and lemon juice, and simmer for an extra two minutes.

Serve with a cheeky dash of lemon zest on top, plus your choice of either coriander or parsley.

The end result

Oh boy. With its bold minestrone-esque flavour, this soup is a definite winner and will keep you warm and cosy all day. Winter is coming. Be prepared.

Top tips

  • If carbs aren’t an issue for you, serve with a side of flatbread.

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Recipe courtesy of BBC Good Food.

 

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