Saturday, May 26, 2012

Chickpea Soup with Shitake Mushrooms

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
When I think of soup, I think of a hearty soup that is thick and brimming with either vegetables or some kind of pasta cooked perfectly with just a hint of meat to flavor the broth. Lidia likes to make her soup soupy in contrast to my preference. Still, her recipes make a wonderful base for whatever tickles your taste buds' fancy with a little bit more or less of the broth.

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
I wanted to prepare a soup dish since my Dad requires something with a bit of a broth for every meal. I know that my chicken dish will not suffice so I figured, I'll try this chickpea soup and use fresh mushrooms to boot. The addition of fresh basil leaves was a lucky stroke since for some reason that I could not fathom, they are so cheap here in my hometown. Parsley that was dirt cheap in the US is for some reason a lot more expensive and harder to find. Porcini was the original choice for the dried mushroom component of the soup but finding that here in my hometown will be next to impossible. I had to settle for dried Shitake mushrooms instead.

Chickpea Soup with Shitake Mushrooms - Adapted*

2 15-oz can chickpeas, drained
4 oz dried shitake mushrooms
1 lb fresh mushrooms (I used fresh oyster mushrooms)
1 30-oz whole tomatoes, canned
4-5 cups chicken broth
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 onion, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup diced celery
salt and pepper
3 tbsp olive oil

1. Reconstitute the dried mushroom in 2 cups hot water until softened. Spoon
    out the mushrooms and slice in half. Reserve the liquid.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and the
    onions and saute until softened. Season with salt and pepper. Add the 
    celery and cook for two more minutes. Season with salt.

3. Add the oregano and the rosemary and cook for a minute. Add the shitake
    mushrooms and the reconstitution liquid. Bring to a boil.

4. Crush the tomatoes with your hands and add to the pot along with the
    broth. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low and simmer covered for
    about 30 minutes.

5. Check for flavor and adjust accordingly. Add the fresh mushrooms and the
    chickpeas and cook for another 15 minutes. 

6. Check for flavor one last time. To serve, drizzle with white truffle oil or
    extra virgin olive oil and garnish with fresh basil leaves and shavings of
    Pecorino or Parmigiano Reggiano.
*Lidia's Italy: Chickpea Soup with Porcini Mushrooms.

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