Friday, April 10, 2009

Leek and Chickpea Soup

This recipe comes to me somewhat third-hand. For my birthday, Eric gave me The Foster Harris House cookbook, from the B&B where we stayed to celebrate our first anniversary. (Buy it here.) This recipe comes from that book, but it came to that chef - John MacPherson - via renowned chef Jamie Oliver's friend Bender who found the recipe in an old cookbook somewhere. Did you follow that? So, nods all around. Thank you Bender, thank you Jamie for having a friend Bender, and thank you John.

This soup makes a great one course meal. Hearty enough to stand on its own and complex enough in taste and texture to stay exciting.
Leek and Chickpea Soup

5 large leeks
2 TBS butter
2 TBS olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 small peeled potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
12 oz of canned chickpeas
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra to garnish
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare leeks by cutting off and discarding tough green tops of leeks. Slick white parts of leeks lengthwise and rinse well. Roughly chop.

Melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat in a heavy pot and add the garlic. Cook for 1 minute, then add the leeks. Cook the leeks for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add the potato and chickpeas and cook for 1-2 minutes longer. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add more broth to thin the soup if desired or use a regular or emulsion blender to puree soup to desired consistency. Add half of the cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and top with the remaining Parmesan.

Serves 6.

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