Lemon & Chickpea Soup

This is a great summer soup for those of you lucky enough to be in the heat wave. It’s also quick and easy to make. Personally, I like a lot of lemon flavor in my soup, but you can cut the lemon to suite your taste.

Although the ingredient list may sound light, I assure that this soup is rich and filling.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups of cooked or canned chickpeas (a.k.a garbanzo beans)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 small head of escarole or other bitter green (e.g. radicchio, frisee, escarole, swiss chard)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a 4-6 quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until the onion softens (~3-4 minutes).
  2. Add the chickpeas and broth and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Transfer the soup to a blender (or use a hand blender in the pot) and pulse to soften and break up the chickpeas.
  5. Return the soup to the pot over medium heat. Add escarole and continue cooking 7-10 minutes, until the escarole is tender.
  6. Stir in the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve topped with the parsley.

How to Not Screw It Up

  1. Be very careful with blending this soup. Make sure the blender is put together tightly. If not, boiling liquid will gush all over. I know. This is where those hand blenders are come in handy.
  2. I also would not recommend a food processor for blending. I’m not sure about yours, but mine is definitely not water tight. Again, I know from experience.
  3. Last word on blending: because the liquid is boiling hot, it doesn’t like being in an airtight blender with the lid on. Put the liquid in the blender, put the lid on the blender, pulse once or twice, and remove the lid to let some of the hot air out. Repeat 2 more times.
  4. Radicchio, Frisee, Escarole, and Swiss Chard are good substitutes if you can’t find escarole.