I had had some dried chickpea lurking in my cupboard for far too long and so decided to turn them into soup. I often thicken my soups with beans or pulses as I find they are a great way of getting extra fiber and minerals into your diet. They also add quite a creamy texture to the soup, especially the white beans such as butter beans.
You will see below in the recipe that I have stated to use either 450g dried chickpeas or 900g canned. This is because dried chickpeas will absorb water as they soak overnight and will increase in both size and weight, meaning you need only half the quantity of dried to pre cooked.
I paired my chickpeas with carrots and fresh thyme that I have growing on my windowsill. I am sure that dried thyme or other herbs would work equally well. The soup turned out very thick, which I love as it actually makes it feel more like a meal compared to thin watery soups. It had a lovely flavour with a slightly earthy overtone. I served it with a thyme infused bagel I made a while ago and it was very comforting. The leftovers were great to take to work for lunch the following day. It also freezes well.
Carrot & Chickpea Soup
450g dried chickpeas or 900g canned chickpeas.
3 large carrots
2 tsp fresh thyme
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Small knob of butter
5 pints vegetable stock
Soak the chickpeas in cold water overnight. Drain the water away, rinse them and then simmer in plenty of water according to pack instructions.
While the chickpeas are cooking, heat the butter and oil in a large pan.
Roughly chop the onion and carrots and add to the pan. Add the fresh thyme and cook for several minutes until the onions are softened and just starting to brown.
Pour over the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes until the carrot is softened.
Once the chickpeas are cooked, drain away their water and add to the soup, or add drained chickpeas from a can.
Allow the soup to cool slightly before blending until smooth using a hand blender or a liquidiser. The chickpeas will cause the soup to thicken.
Serve in big bowls with fresh bread.