Chickpea and bulgar soup

I think it was the caraway seeds in this recipe which drew me to this soup in Ottolenghi’s ‘Plenty More’. I’ve only ever really had caraway seeds in goulash and bread as I think they’re more commonly used in Eastern European food but I love their anise flavour. There’s a feta paste to serve with the soup which makes it all so much better. The recipe serves 4 but I think you can get 6 portions out of this.

Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 small onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 2 tbsp harissa
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 2 tins chickpeas
  • 1.2 litres vegetable stock
  • 100g bulgar wheat
  • 100g feta cheese
  • 60g crème fraiche
  • 15g coriander leaves
  • 15g mint leaves

Method

1.) Peel and dice the onion.

2.) Heat the oil in a casserole dish and add the onion. Fry for 5 minutes.

3.) Peel and finely chop the garlic. Peel and chop up the carrot and chop up the celery.

4.) Add these to the pan and cook for 8 more minutes until soft.

5.) Add the spices and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the stock, bring to the boil then lower the temperature to a simmer for 10 minutes.

6.) Cover the bulgar wheat in cold water and cook this whilst the soup is simmering.

7.) Make up the feta paste by blending the crème fraiche and feta (I used an immersion blender). Finely chop the herbs and mix them into the paste with a pinch of salt.

8.) Drain the tins of chickpeas and the bulgar wheat and add to the soup and cook for a further 5 minutes.

9.) Serve some feta paste with the soup.

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