Chickpeas are a constant presence in my kitchen. I love everything about them: the rich nutty taste, creamy texture, appetizing colour, their versatility and how they absorb flavours. After many curries, breads, burgers and sweets, it was high time I tried a chickpea soup. While browsing recipes on the internet for inspiration, I found a easy Creamy Chickpea Soup by The Domestic Goddess (adapted from chef Rob Feenie's recipe) that required only a small change to be made vegan. One word instantly convinced me to try it: tahini. Is there anything more reminiscent of the Middle Eastern cuisine than chickpeas and tahini? This soup is like a liquid version of a very aromatic hummus. It is rich, creamy, the flavours and textures are wonderfully balanced and it is ready in no time (it doesn't even come to a boil, go figure!).
I guarantee you will love this soup so much, you'll be eager to make it again. I enjoyed it to the point where I made it several days in a row, one day I even made it twice, for lunch and dinner. I could be fair and tell you it serves two-three people, but there has been an instance when it served only one;) I won't bore you with more praises, so here's the recipe:
Creamy Chickpea Soup
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 cup finely grated carrot (1 medium carrot)
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped (using red onion instead of white does make a difference in taste)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 cups chickpeas (from a 400 g/14 oz can), thoroughly rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup tahini (original recipe calls for 1/3 cup but I found the store-bought tahini to be too sharp, so I used less with great results)
- 3 cups warm water (to save cooking time)
- 1/2 vegetable stock cube
- 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 Tb fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 3/4 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- pinch of smoked paprika (original recipe calls for cayenne, which I didn't have, but smoked paprika was a great addition)
- salt to taste
Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottom saucepan. Add the carrot, onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes until the vegetables are tender. Cover with the lid to retain moisture and soften faster. Stir occasionally.
Meanwhile in a bowl add 1 cup warm water and the half veggie cube to soften. Put the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and the water with veggie cube in a blender or food processor and blend for a few seconds until smooth.
Add the remaining 2 cups water to the saucepan and stir in the chickpea-tahini paste. Add the remaining ingredients (except parsley) and season with salt. Cook on medium-low heat for a few minutes until heated thoroughly and thickened (last time I cooked it on low for about 10 minutes). Stir frequently. Don't let it simmer/boil, as it will begin to separate. Add parsley after turning the heat off or when serving.
I greatly enjoy this soup as it is, with bits of veggies in it, but if you prefer a smooth texture or if you have a kid who isn't fond of veggies you can just blend it using an immersion blender (or do it in batches using a countertop blender or food processor). See the pictures below for the smooth version.
Serve the soup plain or garnished with pita croutons for a bit of crunch.
Enjoy and spread the magic!:)
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