Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Day 22: Moroccan Chickpea

I woke up this morning with a nasty cold, thanking my lucky stars that I didn't have to make soup today and then Lou rang to say she'd woken up feeling terrible and couldn't make soup today! At least Graham was his usual self and he went off down the Walworth Road to do the shopping.

I'd left a couple of kilos of chickpeas to soak overnight and Lou sent me a link to this recipe for Moroccan Chickpea soup, which I compared to the recipe on www.epicurious. Then I blithely ignored both and devised my own recipe which incorporated the end of a tub of tahini that was in my 'fridge and the end of the jar of ajvar from the Pullens Centre 'fridge.

I started by boiling the chickpeas for an hour. I minced ten cloves of garlic and diced four medium sized onions, a whole head of celery, and just a couple of carrots and sweated these chopped vegetables in a little oil in the bottom of the soup pot. I added a tablespoon full of cumin, plus a tablespoon full of garam marsala. What would've perked up this soup and made it properly Moroccan is harissa paste, but I didn't have any so I used the ajvar instead.

When the soup base had sweated down a bit, I added the cooked and strained chickpeas, plus the contents of eight cans of chopped plum tomatoes to the pot. I covered the chickpeas with four litres of Marigold bouillon and brought the pot to the boil, simmering for half an hour.

In retrospect, maybe I shouldn't have whizzed up this soup at all, but I did. I whizzed it a bit, decanted about a third, whizzed a bit more and returned the decanted third to the pot before finishing the soup by mixing in the tahini, probably a couple of generous tablespoons full. It ended up being a very thick and chunky soup, more like a chickpea stew.

The recipe Louisa was intending to follow included broad beans and lemon, both juice and zest. Graham had come back from Iceland with a bag of frozen, chopped green beans and I forgot to tell him to get lemons. I tell you' I'm not well. However, Graham managed to get a couple of lemons when he popped out for milk and we served the soup with a squeeze of lemon over the surface and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

Graham said he'd take the beans home with him but he forgot them in the 'fridge and so, later, I added them to the soup and served the last ten portions or so with added green bean. I guess this took it even further away from Morocco, but nobody seemed to care. Although one or two commented that the soup failed to scale the heights of yesterdays chilli bean, Alan wrote in the log bok, 'Another bull's eye!

Soup Maker: Russell
Soup: Moroccan Chickpea
No. of bowls served: 22
Expenditure: £9.77
Donations: £23.04
Running balance: +£192.76

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