Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Every once in a while I see a recipe that makes me drop everything to buy ingredients and make it immediately. I'm sure some of you can relate to this—flipping through a magazine or cookbook with pretty, pretty pictures, hearing the siren song of some delicious braised this or sauteed that, and heading straightaway into the kitchen like a cook possessed. For me, this is especially true when those pictures contain one of the following: crispy potatoes, oozy caramel, butternut squash, or melted cheese, melted cheese, melted cheese.
Then occasionally, I'll feel the call of a recipe that I just can't explain, which is what randomly happened with this chickpea soup. What? A soup the color of that cakey, sedentary cave mud from the last time I went spelunking? From the Bon Appétit issue featuring the most annoying interview ever? An entirely healthy pot of virtuous nutrition? Yes. That one. I want to make that and eat it RIGHT NOW.
Well, fine. Anyone who has heard me talk about these can testify that I've never being one to argue with a craving, healthy or no. Now, if we were to do some free word association with "chickpea," I bet most of you would come up with "lemon" or "garlic" or "tahini." At the very least, you might answer "hummus," which is the blissful combination of all of the above, destined for pita chips and baby carrots everywhere. But I think what appealed to me about this soup is that it couples those typecast legumes with some onion, a glug of white wine, crisp-tender broccoli, and fresh tarragon. And just like that, this pigeon comes out of its hole.
The soup is earthy and filling. Its flavor reminded me of mushrooms (which for me, is a good thing). I recommend some very good quality vegetable broth, but other than that, these ingredients are remarkably unfussy. It could even be a weeknight soup, if you have canned chickpeas. So forget the hummus, and don't look back.
Serves 4 as a main course
Adapted from Bon Appétit
1½ cups dried chickpeas, or 3 15-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed