Since I live alone, I’ve been experimenting with making smaller recipes for the single people who like to cook but don’t want quarts and quarts of leftovers. This a very simple soup made from dried garbanzo beans, my favorite beans. If you try the recipe and decide you want to serve it to a large crowd, just double or triple the recipe. The recipe does not call for any salt during cooking so don’t add any – salt will toughen up the outer casing of the bean – and besides, this soup tastes great without any salt.
1 cup dried beans
4-5 cups water
(2 cups are used for soaking the beans, the other 3 cups are for cooking so vegetable broth can be used instead)
1 bay leaf
2 pinches of ground rosemary
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2-3 sliced or crushed garlic cloves
1/8 cup fresh chopped parsley
2 tablespoons fresh finely chopped basil
olive oil to drizzle over the top when serving
ground pepper to taste
Rinse the garbanzo beans and pick out any bad ones. Soak the dried garbanzo beans in 2 cups of water overnight. (You don’t have to soak garbanzos overnight but if you do, they will come out much more tender and take less time to cook).
Pour the soaked beans, with their water, into a small pot with a cover. Add the celery seeds, bay leaf, garlic, cumin, rosemary and parsley and bring to a slow boil before turning down the heat to very low. Let it simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally and keep watch over the liquid so it doesn’t get too low. Add more water if needed – make sure there is more liquid in the pot than the beans.
Take a masher and roughly mash the beans in the pot. Stir in the chopped basil and let the soup cook down if it’s too watery; if it’s too thick, add more vegetable broth or water.
This recipe makes 2 large bowls of soup or 3 small ones. I garnished my soup with a few fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.
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