Thursday, February 07, 2013

Chickpea, Kale & Barley Soup

Adapted from food52 

Printable recipe

Prep time: 30 minutes plus overnight if you are soaking dried chickpeas
Cooking time total:2-3 hours 
chickpea broth: 1-2 hours
Barley: 20 minutes
Kale: 5 minutes
Simmering soup: 20-30 minutes
Serves 8-10

1lb/450g dried chickpeas - soak overnight or substitute canned chickpeas rinsed and drained - 1 lb dry = 6 cups cooked; 1 (19oz/540g) can = 2.25 cups)
10 cups water
1 piece Parmesan rind (mine was about 2" long)
1/2 cup or so olive oil, divided
pinch of salt
4 large cloves garlic - one whacked; 3 crushed
2 large sprigs fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
2 onions, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1 (14oz/396g) tin of fire roasted tomatoes (my tin was diced, so I used my immersion blender to crush tomatoes and juice)
3/4 cup barley (food52 called for pearl barley but I used pot barley)
1 bunch kale, stem removed & leaves coarsely chopped   (Swiss chard works great too)
At serving:  pinch of red chili pepper flakes and grated Parmesan cheese for each bowl

This makes a huge pot of soup but it's supposed to be the perfect freezer soup   It totally filled my big Dutch oven and overflowed a bit when I went to add the cooked barley.  Next time I'm going to use my big stock pot - no messy stove top!  I'm freezing 5 (4 cup) ziplock containers and still have one for the fridge (for lunch today!

1. If you're using dried chickpeas - Soak overnight in plenty of cold water.  I actually had mine soaking for two days - life got in the way.  The chickpeas were no worse for wear, so don't worry if you soak them for more than just overnight.   Drain and rinse.

2. Using a large - remember my note above!  Dutch oven or stock pot, place drained chickpeas, 10 cups of water, bay leaf, whacked clove of garlic, rosemary sprigs, 1/3 cup olive oil and salt.   I highly recommend adding a chunk of parmigiana rind as well.   Bring to a boil over medium high heat and once the boil has been reached, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for at least one hour or until tender.   DO NOT DRAIN but remove the bay leaf, garlic, rosemary sprigs and parmigiana rind.

3.  Meanwhile in a medium sized saucepan,  bring  3-4 cups of salted water to a boil and add the barley and simmer for 15 minutes or until the barley is tender but not mushy.  Drain and set aside, but reserve the barley water in case the soup is too thick for you.  

4. Using the same saucepan, warm 2-3 tbsp olive oil and add the diced onions and carrots.  Cook gently over medium heat until carrots are soft and onions translucent. (about 5 minutes).  Add remaining garlic and roasted tomatoes and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.  You can either leave the tomatoes in pieces or use an immersion blender for more of a puree.   Add to the chickpea soup in the large Dutch oven.

5.  Remove the thick central stem from the kale or Swiss chard and then roughly chop the leaves. In order to cut down on pot washing, I use the same medium saucepan with just a quick rinse before filling with more salted water.  Bring to a boil, add the chopped leaves (some people use the chopped stems, if you do add them about 2-3 minutes before the leaves) and boil until they start to wilt (about 3 minutes).  Drain and chop again if you think the leaves are too big.   Add the greens to the chickpea pot and simmer the whole thing for another 10 minutes or so. Add the reserved barley and cook for another 5 minutes.  If the soup is too thick, add the barley water.

Serve with crushed chili pepper flakes and/or grated parmigiana and some delicious crusty bread.

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