Friday, June 03, 2016

Sick in the Spring: Chickpea, Bacon and Chile Soup

You know about Murphy's Law, right?  Things always seem to happen at the worst possible time.  Like when I picked up Thatbaby from daycare yesterday only to be told I had one very sick baby on my hands.  Of course I did.  I mean, first week of work, what better time for a sick baby?

Thatbaby is pretty miserable.  But he's also lucky, because last weekend I made a big batch of chicken stock.  Which means I have the means to make the perfect homemade remedy for his illness - soup!

And not just any soup.  Chicken noodle is probably the go-to soup for most people when they're sick.  But this is 2016 - we don't need to stop with the same soup that your great grandmother served your sick grandmother. 

I love bean soups, because pureeing beans always gives such a rich and creamy texture to soup.  Chickpeas aren't typically used in soups, but there's no reason why not.  We already love them in hummus.  At least in my house.  Adding the smokey bacon works in the soup, and frankly would be a nice addition to hummus too!  But what really helps sickness is the addition of chiles.  Removing the membranes and seeds takes away the heat, which makes it good for little guys, but I think personally think chiles still have some healing power!

Chickpea, Bacon and Chile Soup
3 1/2 cups dried chickpeas
7oz bacon
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 long red chiles, seeds removed and chopped
9 cups chicken broth

  1. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with water.  Set aside for 24 hours to soak.  
  2. Drain the chicpeas and place them in a large saucepan with enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil and boil vigourously for 10 minutes.  Drain and rinse under cold water.
  3. Cut the bacon in half.  Cut half of the bacon into strips and leave the rest whole.
  4. Return the pan to the heat and add 2 Tbsp of the olive oil, then add the oion, garlic, and chile and sweat for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the drained chickpeas and cook for another 2 minutes.
  6. Pour in the broth and add the whole piece of bacon, then bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until the chickpeas are tender - about 2 hours.
  7. Remove the bacon and discard.  Puree the soup until completely smooth.  Season to tasste and keep warm.
  8. Heat a skillet and add the remaining olive oil.  Add the reserved bacon strips and cook over a fairly high heat for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown.  Drain on kitchen paper towels.  
  9. Ladle the soup into bowls and scatter the bacon on top.

    1 comment:

    1. Brilliant. I'm a fan of adding bacon to anything and everything.

      Hope he's feeling better soon!