Chickpea Soup Cures Cold Weather Blues


Minced RosemaryWinters in Alaska are cold – very cold – but our houses are well-insulated and our clothing designed to protect us from the elements. I struggle with hot weather, but never with cold. After years in Alaska, I thought I understood cold weather and all its variations.

Then I spent a year in Greece.

The single coldest time in my life was when we lived in a two-story cement house near the beach on a tiny Greek island village. Our apartment had two uninsulated sliding glass doors facing the sea and a stone floor; whistling wind was our constant companion. For heat, we had only a small oil drip stove that barely kept its kitchen corner warm. At night, I used ten blankets and two hot water bottles to fight the bone-chilling cold. That winter I despaired of ever being warm.

To fight the cold, we ate soups and stews accompanied by homemade bread, and appreciated the extra heat from bubbling pot and baking oven. I frequently cooked with chickpeas and, during that winter, started making Chickpea Soup with Lemon and Rosemary. Since then, it’s remained one of my favorite recipes and I make it regularly.

When made with canned chickpeas, the soup takes about an hour to make. It tastes marginally better when made with dried chickpeas, and I make it that way when I have time. However, the soup is excellent when made with canned chickpeas, so I often don’t bother with the extra work that dried chickpeas entail.

Peeled Chickpeas

To Peel or Not to Peel? Chickpeas don’t need to be peeled, and the soup will taste fine if you use unpeeled chickpeas. I prefer, however, the soup’s texture with peeled chickpeas. Made this way, the soup’s mouth-feel is smooth and surprisingly luxurious despite its humble ingredients. It takes about 20 minutes to peel the chickpeas. The task is not onerous so, if I have the time, I peel them.

Chickpea Soup with Lemon and Rosemary is a hearty winter dish that pairs well with a lettuce salad with lemon dressing, feta cheese, and Baked Kalamata Olives.

Be sure to check out the recipes mentioned in this post:


6 Responses to Chickpea Soup Cures Cold Weather Blues

  1. Lovely entry, thank you, Laurie! I’ve been to Greece thrice, and love the place, so any Greek recipes appeal to me – especially if they come with such beautiful stories!

  2. Sounds just wonderful. I love the photo of the peeled chickpea! Look forward to more interesting recipes from your blog.

  3. Thank you Pille and Kalyn for your comments and for all the work you do on Weekend Herb Blogging.

    Pille, I’ve never been to Estonia, but it sounds like a very interesting place to visit. And the recipes on your blog are terrific!

  4. Great soup! I added 3 cloves of minced garlic to the recipe, adding them to the pot just as the onions were looking like they were going to brown. It turned out very well!

  5. Eleanor Miami, Fla. says:

    I was going to say I promised a very nice person I would make him a pot of chick pea soup, However I had no idea how & went in google for some help. However I bought a can of chick peas which was the wrong thing to do I guess but it is too late now to buy fresh peas as I promised him the soup tomorrow afternoon so there would be no time to buy the peas & soak them for 10/12 hours.I was checking for recipes, so that is where I am. I would like to know is chick pea soup supposed to be thick like pea soup or more brothy like chicken soup. I would be happy to hear back from anyone who can advice me. In God I trust God Bless The USA

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