Winter hasn’t been too dreadful this year; a few storms here and there and that was that. Blaming winter for its messy snow is a culture of its own…no matter what, “Oh what a horrible winter!”, is every winter’s farewell song.
It is still cold outside, and we are still pulling on our mittens every morning. The ‘glitter’ storm passed us by a few days ago leaving us to slip and slide while we gasp in its true beauty. Even though it seems like summer is never going to be here, it will eventually roll in and sprint like an Olympian.
Cold days and soups are meant for each other; especially a hearty soup that cooks without too much effort. I am always a fan of anything that cooks fast and is flavourful!
Chickpea is one of our favorites – a pantry staple in our household. They are extremely versatile and nutritious, and prompt me to cook with them more often than with beans. Even though little Saira loves her beans, she would rather chew on chickpea skins than on any other bean skins. This soup is excellent with or without meat.
Chickpea: 1 can, washed
Onion: 1 medium diced
Garlic: 4 cloves, finely chopped
Yellow bell pepper: 1/2 cup diced
Chicken/Vegetable stock: 2 1/2 cup
Tomato soup: 1 can
Basmati rice: 1/4 cup
Oregano: 4 sprigs ( and 1 for garnish)
Lemon: ½ inch thick slice and some for garnish
Sugar: 2 tsp
Sat and pepper to taste
(Optional: cooked sausage/duck/chicken/bacon)
Olive oil for garnish
Bring stock to boil with oregano and lemon. Add garlic, onion, bell pepper, chickpea and tomato soup. Boil on low heat for half hour. Take out lemon and discard. Add rice, sugar, and your choice of meat. Season to taste. Boil for another 15-20 minutes or until rice is nice and soft. Serve with fresh oregano and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Thick slices of rustic bread – preferably from Georgestown Bakery – toasted and buttered are all that is needed to mop up the bottom of your bowl!