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Chickpea, Chilli and Coriander Soup

Chickpea, Chilli and Coriander Soup

Ingredients (per 4-6 servings):

225g (8oz) chickpeas, soaked overnight in twice their volume of cold water

1 level tbsp coriander seeds

1 level tbsp cumin seeds

6 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

2 small red chillies, halved, de-seeded and chopped

1 level tsp ground turmeric

grated zest of 1 lemon

2-3 tbsp lemon juice

1x15g pack (or ½ oz) fresh coriander, leaves and stalks separated

1x200ml tub soya yogurt


First of all drain the chickpeas in a colander, rinse them under the cold tap then place them in the saucepan with 1.5 litres (2 ½ pints) of boiling water.  Then bring them up to simmering point, put a lid on and cook them very gently for about 1 hour or until the chickpeas are absolutely tender and squashy.  While they’re cooking, prepare the rest of the soup ingredients.  The coriander and cumin seeds should be dry-roasted in a small pre-heated pan for 2-3 minutes, then crushed in a pestle and mortar together with the chilli. 

As soon as the chickpeas are tender, drain them in a colander placed over a bowl to reserve the cooking water.  Transfer the chickpeas to a liquidizer together with a couple of ladles of cooking water and puree them until fine and smooth.  Now add the lemon zest, coriander stalks and spices along with another ladleful of cooking water and blend once more until fine and smooth.  Next, the whole lot needs to go back into the saucepan with the rest of the reserved cooking water.  Bring it all up to a gentle simmer, give it a good stir, season, then simmer gently for a further 30 minutes. 

Add half the lemon juice and soya yogurt and stir. Serve with a swirl of soya yogurt, some lemon juice and scatter shredded chilli and coriander leaves.


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