Saturday, February 27, 2010

Chickpea-Leek Soup

Soup is good. Soup is
great when our Grandpa makes it. We have been pleading with him for years to write down his recipes. But like any good cook, he says, "Oh, you know, a little bit of this and a handful of that!" Which is endearing but not helpful when you want to make great soup like him. He must have at least 50 secret soup recipes stashed. I think it's time for a soup day. I'll let him cook while I follow him around and type away.

This soup is an easy and delicious recipe I found years ago in my Outside magazine. I've just kind of adapted it over the years but figured I couldn't really post it without measurements so I googled the idea of it and was interested to find out the recipe was originally by Jamie Oliver, the "Naked Chef" on the Food Network. Wherever it came from, it's hearty and healthy, something like what my Grandpa would throw together. It actually tastes like Thanksgiving dinner in a bowl. And who wouldn't love that?

Leek and Chickpea Soup
6 large leeks cleaned and sliced roughly (an easier way to clean them is to cut off the root end and any dark green leaves, then slice down the middle and pull the layers apart to rinse. A lot of grit can be caught in the layers.)
5 cloves garlic sliced
2 T olive oil
2.5 T butter
3 cans chickpeas
5-6 c stock
3/4 c Parmesan cheese plus more for topping
salt and pepper

You will need a blender or food processor or something to mash this to bits.

Melt butter in large heavy bottomed pot, then add olive oil over med heat. Add garlic, cook until soft. Add leeks and cook until they smell good and are soft, about 10+ min. Add 3 cups of the broth and all the chickpeas. Cook for several min. to get flavors mixing. Put mixture in blender and puree until it has your desired smoothness. I like to leave some chickpeas chunky to give it some texture, but you can also make this a 100% creamy soup. I blend 2/3 of the total amount and put it back in soup pot, then add as much of the left over broth as I need to get my desired texture. Add Parmesan and cook together for 30 min or more. Salt and pepper to taste, but only after you add the cheese, or it may get to be too salty. Serve piping hot with some more cheese on top. Makes 6 meal sized servings.

For simple stock I throw the following in a pot and bring to a boil, then simmer for hours. Well worth very little effort! If you're not up for using it right away just freeze it. Those Wegmans rotisserie chicken bones make great broth.

Simple Stock:
In large pot...
Bones, meat leftovers from 1 or 2 roasted chickens or 1 turkey
Large onion slice in half
4-5 garlic cloves peeled and smashed or not
3 carrots
2 celery stalks
salt and pepper
bundle of thyme (or any other fresh herb you like, tied together for easy trashing)
2 bay leaves if you have them
Water to cover ingredients by an inch or so
Bring to boil over high heat, stir, cover, simmer for 3-4 hours


  1. Hey you girls, you need to host cooking classes in Rochester. I'd pay 10 bucks to try to cook with you guys, and then eat what you all made.

  2. ok so when are classes being given? also I have my own leek soup recipe. teach me yours, I'll teach you mine.....