Greek Chickpea Soup aka Revithosoupa
I often cook dishes that my parents used to make but then I’d add my own twist to them. When it comes to my parents Chickpea Soup, I won’t be doing that. I remember my parents cooking this and patiently allowing the chickpeas to cook for up 2 hours in order to get them perfectly soft. It created a cloudy soup that had an earthy flavour and every mouthful tasted like Greece. I remember thinking how delicious the rosemary and chickpeas tasted together and how I loved grabbing a thick slice of crusty bread to scoop more chickpeas onto my spoon. My father and mother always enhanced the flavour by grabbing a bottle of extra virgin olive oil and give it all a good drizzle, followed by a big squeeze of lemon juice once they were cooked. Simple and perfect.
They especially cooked this Chickpea Soup during Lent for Easter. I guess that is one of the reasons I have decided to make it. It is however bitter sweet for me, as chickpeas tend to bloat me and even thought I put up with the uncomfortable tummy aches, I still grab a bowl to relive those sunny autumn lunches we would sit at the kitchen table together listening to the Greek radio, dipping bread into the soup and occasionally having a good slurp off the spoon.
And now onto the recipe:
1. First and foremost you must use dried chickpeas for this soup, not canned ones. Even though they require a lot of time (unless you have a pressure cooker), there is something that the chickpeas release whilst boiling that produces the most amazing stock. Whatever it is, it helps to thicken the soup and create a cloudy soup that looks like gravy. Trust me, its delicious.
2. Make sure you soak the chickpeas for 24 hours. Yes, 24 hours not just overnight. What I do is soak them from when I get home in the afternoon and then the following afternoon they are ready to start cooking. The reason I say 24 hours is because the longer you soak them, the more plump and tender they become.
3. How do you know if the chickpeas are cooked? Well that depends unfortunately on each bag of chickpeas. Some need only an hour cooking and some up to 2 hours so I would aim for 1.5 hours and taste test. You may find that they absorbed a lot of the water whilst cooking and need an extra cup. If this is the case make sure you only add boiling water to the already cooking pot, not cold water.
4. How long can the soup stay in the fridge? I have had this soup in the fridge for up to 5 days and it has still kept fresh. Make sure you try it cold out of the fridge too, as my kids love eating this soup cold rather than hot!
5. What to serve with Chickpea Soup? Grab some fresh crusty bread, marinated olives and crumbly feta. It is a winning combination!
Today I’ve added a little gourmet twist to this Revithosoupa by drizzling with Grecian Purveyor Truffle Oil and serving them with Grecian Purveyor Organic Kalamata Olives. A combination that will have your tastebuds singing! Check out their gourmet Greek natural and organic delicacies.
And now it’s time to start cooking! As always, if you make any of my recipes, I would love to hear your feedback. I am available here via email or you can catch me daily on Instagram and Facebook. Don’t forget to save it on your Pinterest board as well! I have a board named CreateCookShare that you can save. Can’t wait to hear from you. Enjoy x
Revithosoupa aka Chickpea Soup
500g dried chickpeas
8+ cups of water
2 large onions, finely diced
¼ cup fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
100ml extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Soak the chickpeas for 24 hours in a large bowl filled with water. Drain and rinse under running water (above shows a photo of dried chickpeas and what they look like after they have been soaked for 24 hours).
2. Add chickpeas to a pot along with 8 cups of water. Bring to boil. Skim off any froth that rises to the surface using a spoon.
3. Now add the onions, rosemary leaves and extra virgin olive oil. Cover and simmer for 1 ½ hours checking if an extra cup of boiling water is needed half way through.
4. When the chickpeas are tender, turn off heat and add the juice of 1 lemon, season with plenty of sea salt and freshly ground pepper and add a couple of tablespoons more of extra virgin olive oil. Stir and cover. Allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving.
Optional and highly suggested: To thicken the soup, take a cup full of chickpeas and blend them in a food processor. Add them back into the soup and combine well.
Notes: Serve with crusty bread, marinated olives and crumbly feta. It is a winning combination!