For me this soup is the expression of simplicity and the result a delicious soup.
Many years ago, travelling in Greece we arrived on a dream island called Sifnos. On Sunday we ordered this chickpeas (garbanzos) soup and our young daughter was so enthusiastic from this dishes that she asked for this the next day as well.
“No, today not, we serve this only on Sunday!” was the answer. “Why?”
We found out that this soup is prepared on Saturday evening with the remaining heat overnight in the wooden oven in an earthen pot (tsoukali). This means that on Saturday the oven was used for the meals and then, while the oven was already cooling down, the heat was still enough for this soup to cook this soup as chickpeas almost fall apart during cooking and in this way on Sunday the women did not need to prepare the lunch and after returning homes from church they had a meal already ready and only needed to serve to place the pots on the table and serve this fragrant chickpeas soup.
We love this soup flavored with lemon peel. The original recipe ask for water not for broth (vegetal or meat) and we really support this rule! If you wish you can drizzle the soup with more olive oil!
We are lucky we have a wooden oven and we follow the Greek traditions, but this soup can be made on the stove in a pot at low temperature, in a clay pot in the oven or even in the slow cooker overnight!
- 1 cup chickpea (garbanzo beans)
- 8 cups water
- 2 onions, peeled sliced or coarsely chopped
- 4 tablespoons oil
- 2 teaspoons salt, to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 1 lemon, peel in big pieces (peel with the knife), optional
- 1 lemon, juice
- 1 tablespoon flour
- Wash beans and drain well and cover with 8 or more cups of water and soak overnight. If you don’t soak them the cooking time will be longer.
- Drain and wash again.
- Add beans, water, onions, oil salt, pepper and lemon peel.
- Cook at low heat for about 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours or until tender
- In a small bowl combine 1/2 cup of broth (remove from pot), add little water (about 1/2 cup) and lemon juice. Stir and whisk in the flour until combined.
- Stir the flour mixture into the soup and bring to boil shortly again.
- Season with more salt to your taste.
Flavor variations instead of lemon peel: bay leaf or 1 orange, preferably organic, quartered and seeded