Please, sir, may I have some more soup?

17 05 2008

It’s a bit cloudy and cool here this evening, so I fixed one of our favorite soups. It’s quite easy, takes about 15 minutes to prepare, and is a hearty, earthy, filling soup.

Garbanzo Soup

  • 2 cups Leeks (several stalks)
  • 2 cans Garbanzos
  • 1 can Stock (I prefer vegetable)
  • 1/2 stick Butter, cut into medium pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

This dish has texture as opposed to being a smooth puree, so don’t worry about cutting up the ingredients into pieces that are too small. The textures of the various ingredients is one of the attractions of this dish.

Split and wash the leeks. Chop them crosswise in slices no more that 1/4 inch thick. Open & drain the garbanzos. Rinsing them is also fine.

Heat a skillet containing olive oil for sauteing. Add the sliced leeks. You can either slightly caramelize them or not as you prefer; I like mine slightly caramelized. After they have reduced to about 1/4th of their original size, add the garbanzos, butter, and a good pinch of salt and a couple grinds of pepper. As the garbanzos begin frying, take a heavy spoon or spatula and squash about half of them, more or less. After they’ve been squashed, and have browned some, add a can of stock. This will kill the temperature, stopping the browning, and the squashed garbanzos and stock will begin forming a broth. Taste the mixture, being sure to get some of each ingredient, to test for salt and pepper; adjust as needed.

Serve hot, with toasted baguette.

Variations:

Note that the primary flavors are leek and garbanzo, so don’t overwhelm the dish with other flavors.

  • Add a stalk or two of celery, cut crosswise like the leeks. Add them when the leeks are part way done. Leeks and garbanzos have an earthy taste, so celery fits right in.
  • Likewise with mushrooms: their earthy flavor is a great addition to the soup. I like a handful – probably 1/2 to 3/4 cup of 1/8 to 1/4 inch pieces, and add them when the leeks are part way done.
  • A potato cut into 1/2 inch cubes also fits right in with the earthy theme of the dish.
  • A clove of garlic chopped fine and sauteed with the leeks from the start is delicious.
  • Zipping up part of the dish, or most of it, with an immersion blender or in a food processor or blender will make a smoother, but less rustic, dish. How rustic (how much texture) or how smooth is a matter of style and setting for your particular situation, but we find we like the rustic version the best.

There you go. This serves 4 easily, with sides of bread, or 6 to 8 if it is a part of a meal. More stock can also be added to stretch the dish and make it smoother.

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