Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Leeks and chickpeas cream soup

The temperature has been dropping all week. 

I didn't realize it at first, then one morning I got into a freezing cold car, heading for the kindergarten with M. and noticed a frosty white lace covering the fields.

Though the beautiful landscape helped me recover from the 'thermic shock', I couldn't avoid listening to the cold whispers of late Autumn. 

As usual, when days get shorter and colder, I try to keep my body warm by eating and drinking any sort of steaming liquid, be it a soup or a spicy tea (not to mention hot chocolate).

I like making soups, especially during this time of the year. I love the simple gestures involved in the process, like chopping vegetables, for instance. The concentration this action requires immediately helps me to focus and calm down. As crazy as this may sound it has a hypnothic effect on me. Does this happen to you as well? 

Making soups boosts my creativity too. I am always willing to try out new ingredients and new combinations of flavours. Take this cream soup, for example. Once I had decided the main ingredient - leeks - I started to add a bit of this and a bit of that, as inspiration (and the leftovers in the fridge) guided me.
The result really surprised and pleased me, and so I'd like to share this recipe with you.

p.s.:You can serve the soup with toasted bread or croutons as I did, but you may also add any grain of your choice (I recommend 'farro' -tr. spelt- or wholemeal rice). This will turn yuour soup into a tasty as well as healthy and nourishing meal.

Ingredients (serves 4):

leeks: 280 gr - 9,88 oz. - 3 + 1/2 cups - trimmed, halved, washed, thinly sliced 
potato: 100 gr - 3,53 oz. - 1 cup - washed, peeled and diced
pre cooked chickpeas: 150 gr - 5,29 oz. - 1 cup - rinsed
fresh ginger: 1cm - 0,39 inches - peeled and finely chopped
green pepper: 25 gr - 0,88 oz - 1/8 cup
raw vegetable stock: 3 teaspoons + water: 750 ml - 3 cups
              or, alternatively, vegetable stock: 750 ml - 3 cups
vegetable cream: 2 to 3 tablespoons
extra virgin olive oil: 3 to 4 tablespoons
sea salt: to taste
freshly ground nutmeg: to taste
freshly ground pepper: to taste

for garnish:

sweet green peppers
fresh chives
hot chili

Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the raw vegetable stock and the fresh ginger, stirring carefully. Add leeks, potato and green pepper, cook - don't forget stirring -for approximately 10-15 minutes until vegetables have softened. 
Add chickpeas and 3 cups of warm water- or veggie stock - bring to boil, then lower the heat and let simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered, until the vegetables are perfectly tender. Remove from heat and blend until you reach a smooth consistency, add water or stock if necessary.
Add the vegetable cream and season to taste with salt and spices.
Ladle the soup into small individual bowls, top with chickpeas and tiny green peppers squares, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with ground chili peppers and fresh chives and serve warm.


Cristina, from Buenos Aires to Paris said...

My first problem? I adore what has chickpeas, including the French word, "pois chiche" I love the musicality of this word...then I love fabrics, like the ones you photographed here...
Wonderful, wonderful post !

Roberta said...

Thank you Cristina, I have the same problem! :-)))

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