chickpea and vegetable soup

Nothing special here, just what was in the cupboard.

  • onion, peeled and chopped
  • carrot, peeled and chopped
  • potato, peeled and chopped
  • garlic, peeled and chopped
  • ghee or oil for cooking (I used grapeseed oil this time)
  • tin of chickpeas, hulled
  • ground cumin, coriander and chilli
  • water or stock
  • plain yoghurt, lemon and freshly ground pepper at the table

Obviously you can vary this at will or convenience. I used two medium carrots, maybe half a kg of potatoes, one onion. The key question may be how sweet you want it – and what colour.

On medium heat sauté the onion until it is softening, add the other vegetables and fry stirring for maybe 5 minutes. Turn heat down and add the garlic – no burning the garlic – and the ground spices. When the spices are thoroughly mixed in, add the water or stock along with the chickpeas. It doesn’t take long to take the skins off, you can do it while the vegetables are frying. It makes a big difference to digestibility, which is a literal pain for some people.

Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes covered. After the mixture has cooled a little you can puree it. It won’t be best on day one.

Serve alone, with toast or maybe a Middle East bread and with the accompaniments listed in the ingredients.

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Noodle soup as an Australian might make it.

My meddling with a Jaffrey recipe. She calls it Thai, but it is way too simple to be that. It is, nonetheless, a wonderful soup which can be eaten often without tiring of it.

Ingredients

Chicken stock maybe 1 litre per two people
Just cooked thin rice noodles, rinsed while draining to cool them down (stops overcooking)
Green beans topped and tailed and sliced into two, half a cup or more per person
Bean sprouts topped and tailed, yes, tedious, isn’t it? Maybe a cup per person

Method

While the noodles are first cooking prepare everything else, including the things to be served at the table (see below). After noodles are drained, put chicken stock in the same saucepan, or water if you are simply adding a stock cube – a good quality stockcube isn’t a disaster, given the other flavourings to be added. If lucky enough to be in Australia you can get those Massel vegetarian gluten free chicken stock cubes, so it is servable to everybody. After the stock has come to the boil, throw in the beans and cook to taste, for me that’s a couple of minutes. Place a cup of prepared beansprouts at the bottom of each bowl. When beans are almost done, return the noodles to the stock. Give them a moment to warm and then put the noodles, beans and stock over the beansprouts in each bowl.

For serving.

Prepare small bowls of:

rice vinegar with fresh chopped chilli added
fish sauce
sugar
coriander leaves
mint leaves torn or bruised
Unsalted roasted peanuts crushed coarsely maybe half a cup per 2 people

At the table each person adds the various seasonings to taste. I’ve only ever tasted this with some of everything, so I have no idea of the impact of being picky.

Variations

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Put the chilli in a separate bowl so that people can avoid it without avoiding the vinegar. If you have made real chicken stock, you probably have some chicken you can add on your non-vegetarian days. Obviously beef stock is an option. And needless to say, the basic vegetables of beansprouts and beans could be replaced with many other options. I could imagine any Asian greens, not to mention very fine long slivers of carrot.