This luscious soup is naturally sweet and buttery. Adapted from a recipe from Jamie Oliver’s The Naked Chef cookbook and Carol White, MS, RD. This is a simple and hearty soup that transcends the seasons. Use canned chickpeas to make it even faster and simpler – you’ll need about 5 ½ cups.
1 ¾ cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
5 large leeks
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 to 5 cloves garlic, finely sliced
Salt to taste
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Optional: Grated parmesan cheese
To cook chickpeas:
Discard soaking water. Place chickpeas in a pot with water (about three cups of water per cup of beans) and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until tender, about one hour (may take longer depending on age of chickpeas). When chickpeas are done, salt water generously and allow them to cool in salted water.
To prepare soup:
Remove dirty or discolored outer leaves from leeks. Cut off dark green tops, leaving about 4 to 6 inches of pale green leek (tops can be saved for making stock). Slice in half lengthwise from root up and run under water, removing all dirt between leaves. Slice into 1/4-inch half moons.
Heat a thick-bottomed pot over medium heat and add olive oil and butter. Once butter has melted, stir in leeks and garlic, season with salt and reduce heat to low. Cook gently for about 15 to 20 minutes or until leeks are very tender. Stir in drained chickpeas and cook for about two minutes. Add two cups of stock and bring back up to a simmer. Cook covered for 15 minutes.
Now decide if you want to puree the soup, leave it chunky and brothy or puree half of it to create a smoother base while retaining some texture. I prefer to puree some of it with an immersion blender (a food processor works well, but is messier and requires more cleanup). Then add the rest of the broth or not, depending on how you like your soup. Bring back to a simmer, check the seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
Serve garnished with a drizzle of high quality olive oil and a sprinkling of grated parmesan.
Preparation time: 20 minutes (30 minutes if using dried chickpeas)
Cooking time: 30 to 45 minutes
Per serving: Calories 330, Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 2g, Fiber 6g, Protein 15g, Carbohydrates 50g. Contains 25% of the RDA for vitamin A and iron (for a 2000 calorie diet).