I’ve always liked to cook on family holidays … there’s time to procrastinate … there’s time to dawdle. Before the days of mobile internet – can you imagine such a thing? – I would stash a stack of cookery books in my suitcase and enjoy reading them in bed (and I BET you can relate to that!…) and also cooking some new dishes, as well as the old favourites.
Then one day, the wind of new technology blew in our direction and ……. drum roll, drum roll …. we bought a printer that also did photocopying – a revelation. Now I filled a smaller corner of my case with a more select picking from the cookery book shelf and instead photocopied dishes from the other books.
Jump forward a decade or so and thanks to enormous leaps in technology, I have access to an infinite choice of recipes wherever I am but I still treasure my broken-spined, blue and white striped recipe book, bulging with many of the photocopied sheets from those holiday adventures. Many of them have notes and scribbles round the edges and others remind me of special holiday moments.
Chickpea and Leek Soup is one of those photocopied recipes that could have collected plenty of Air Miles. It’s photocopied from Jamie Oliver’s The Naked Chef – and I have tweaked it to ensure it’s just as gorgeous but a bit less fuss.
This is a delicious, creamy soup – although apart from a sprinkling of Parmesan at the end, contains no dairy at all. It’s quick, it’s easy, uses ingredients that you can pick up anywhere, can be smooth or chunky (or somewhere in between, which is how I like it) and is a perfect holiday lunch dish. Or indeed a perfect ‘at home’ dish …
And just for the record … I love, love, love being able to find great recipes and amazing foodie information on the internet but I will always love, love, love the touch and feel of a cookery book even more – especially for bedtime reading.
- 3 x 400g cans of chickpeas, drained
- 1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
- 5 medium leeks, washed and finely sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, grated
- salt and pepper
- 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
- Parmesan cheese, grated or shaved
- a little chopped parsley to garnish
- Heat the oil in a large, heavy bottomed pan. Add the leeks and garlic to the pan, and sweat gently until tender.
- Add the drained chickpeas, potato and about two-thirds of the stock. Simmer for 15 minutes, making sure that the potato is tender.
- This soup can be served smooth, chunky or somewhere in between. I like to remove 3 or 4 large ladlefuls of soup into a separate bowl and puree using a stick blender - adding this back into the main pan of soup. This gives the soup a 'hint of smooth' but also keeps a rustic texture. Use the remaining stock to adjust the consistency if you need to.
- Check the seasoning. Garnish with Parmesan and a sprinkling of chopped parsley.