Saturday, May 23, 2009

Hummus soup

Hello everyone, I was lucky enough earlier this week to get along to the opening night address of the Sydney Writers Festival It was given by a Nigerian woman called Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She spoke so beautifully about how she wrote as a child in the style of the English story books she read (complete with lashings of ginger beer), even though this reflected a world completely different to what was around her. Over time, as she grew up, she encountered people who had one view about Nigeria and its people (which was all negative), and how through her writing she has worked to portray the many different stories there are about Nigeria. She was completely captivating.

From a slightly different part of the world comes inspiration for this soup. The recipe is from the book Faking It, by Valli Little, one of my favourite food writers, and it's an outstanding book. There are so many different, inspirational recipes in it and as the name of the book implies, they don't involve tricky techniques or hard to find ingredients. I made a big batch of this soup to put in the freezer so that I could take it to work for lunches and I was very sad when it was all gone. If you can get your hands on some labne, the thick Middle Eastern yoghurt, it would taste great swirled into the soup just before serving.

Have a lovely week. Love from Jane xx

Hummus soup

Serves four

What you need:
  • 1 litre chicken stock (or vegetable if you want to keep the soup vegetarian friendly)
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped into a few pieces (it will all be blended later)
  • Grated zest and juice of a lemon, plus wedges to serve
  • 800g canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley leaves
  • Natural yoghurt (or Greek, or labne), to drizzle
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
  • 2 tablespoons dukkah, to serve
  • Flatbread, to serve

What you do:
  1. Place the stock in a saucepan with the garlic, lemon zest and chickpeas.
  2. Bring to the boil over a medium-high heat.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for five minutes. Cool slightly.
  4. Add the mint, parsley and lemon juice and puree in a blender until smooth.
  5. When you are ready to serve, season the soup to taste with salt and pepper and then reheat over a low heat.
  6. Ladle the soup into bowls, then drizzle with the yoghurt and olive oil.
  7. Serve with dukkah for sprinkling on the soup, lemon wedges and flat bread.