Day Four: Cooking Dried Garbanzo Beans

I found a new site for foodies, Taste Book, and there I found a recipe for “Chickpea Soup A la Provencale.”  Not one to leave well enough alone, of course, I modified it.    Here is my version of Provencal Peasant Soup (as I have renamed it as well):

Provencal Peasant Soup

16 oz. dried garbanzo beans (or chickpeas)
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 white onion (about 1 lb. size), cut in half and sliced thin
5 garlic cloves, minced
32 oz. chicken stock
8 cup water (I had a bit of jalapeno wine* in the fridge so I used 7 c. water and 1 c. wine.) 
5 oz. fresh baby spinach
1 t. dried thyme
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. fresh rosemary, chopped
1 fresh bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
Good olive oil to garnish 

Soak the garbanzo beans overnight.  Rinse them in cold water.

Cut the onion in half (from stem to root end) and thinly slice.

Pour the oil into a soup pot, add the thinly sliced onions , and sauté gently over medium heat for a few minutes. Add garlic and sauté a few minutes more.  Add the stock, water, beans, spinach, herbs, and salt and pepper.

Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low simmer. Cover the pot and cook the soup slowly until the chickpeas are tender (50-60 minutes).   Simmer for 15 minutes more.

When the soup is done, remove bay leaf.  Blend with a stick blender or conventional blender (in batches).  Serve the soup in hot bowls.   Garnish with a teaspoon of very good quality olive oil. 

I really like the dried beans from Eden Organic.  They are grown in the US and I love the recipes on the back.  And, a great tip from the box:  after soaking your beans overnight, water your plants with the water.  I know, it is a no-brainer, but I really hadn’t thought to do this.

This is the first time I have ever cooked garbanzo beans.  When I put them in the pot, they started “snap, cracklin’, and poppin.'”  Is this common?


*I friend of mine father’s makes fruit wines and jalapeno wine.  Although I would not recommend the jalapeno wine for sipping, it is good for meat marinades and four soups.

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