Friday, October 25, 2013
Chickpea & cabbage soup
I'll say this about vegetarians: Their soups are a snap. I began prepping this chickpea and cabbage deal at around 6:15 pm the other evening. By 7:15, I was on the sofa catching up on my "Boardwalk Empire" (poor Eddie), a warm soup bowl in one hand and a chilled glass of Roero Arneis in the other.
This soup is so easy to make that even my veg-only left coast pal Ricklie could probably pull it off. If only she had a stove. Which she doesn't. (I know. How does a human live without one! No, really, how?)
Just saute a large onion, five garlic cloves and however much hot pepper you can stand. I think a good kick of heat really enhances this particular soup, and so I used a good-sized fresh chili. It would not have been ruined by the addition of another.
Okay, I also threw in a few anchovy fillets, but most of you would rather be boiled in hot oil than eat an anchovy and so, well, don't. (The little fishes might not square with the veghead crowd either.)
After the onions are softened, add a chopped up medium-size head of cabbage, along with a good dose of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover the pot so that the cabbage can soften a bit before moving ahead.
After about 10 minutes uncover and add a half cup of white wine or dry vermouth, then turn up the heat so that the wine can burn off.
Add one quart of stock. I used chicken (uh-oh!), but vegetable stock would be fine. Also add a 19-oz. can of chickpeas (drained but not rinsed), then set the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.
After about 30 minutes you should be all set to go.
Except for one VERY important final step: You have just got to grate some Pecorino-Romano cheese onto this soup. Believe me, the sharpness of the cheese really pulls it all together.
A little crusty bread to sop things up isn't such a terrible thing either. But you knew that.