When Life Gives You Chickens…

With the weather turning chilly and rainy, I had soup on my mind. Friday night I scrolled through my catalog of soups and found a Greek-inspired version that looked hearty, but light. Looking for added protein I saw the recipe called for chickpeas, bulgar, and spinach. The leeks and lemons brighten the flavor – perfect!

At 5:45 Saturday I walked into the kitchen to start the soup, pulled up the same recipe and read, “Chicken, Leek, and Lemon Soup. The autocorrect in my brain is just as annoying as the one on my phone. Drat!

How hard can it be to make a chicken soup recipe vegetarian? What had intrigued me about this soup to begin with was the avgolemono sauce – eggs with lemon — whisked into hot broth. Substitute chickpeas for chicken, pull out the immersion blender and voilà! My version tasted like it had a milk base, but happily, it is the heavy whisking of eggs that create the cheesy-illusion.

Chickpea, Leek, and Lemon Soup

  1. Sauté in 1 TBSP butter and 1 TBSP olive oil:

2 large leeks, cut lengthwise through white part to clean, then sliced into 1/3-inch strips

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 clove garlic chopped

  1. When soft, add:

1-quart vegetable stock

1 can chickpeas, undrained

2/3 cup bulgar

Bring to a low boil and simmer until bulgur is cooked.

  1. Whisk 4 eggs with the juice of 2 lemons and set aside.
  2. When bulgur is cooked, puree soup. (The bulgar did not puree with my hand-held immersion blender so I had an added texture to the soup that worked well.)
  3. Mix the avgolemono with the hot soup: First add 2 cups puréed soup to the eggs/lemon, whisking so the broth doesn’t curdle the eggs. With the immersion blender running, pour the eggs/lemon/stock into the main pot of soup. Magically, the soup takes on a rich, custard-like texture. If you want a thinner soup, add a bit more heated stock.
  4. Add 4 cups chopped spinach and stir until the leaves are wilted. Season with chopped dill and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Vie Pesca!

P.S. Clearly I need to read recipes more carefully. Just after lunch, I started making a French Onion Soup for dinner tonight, but, after looking at the directions more closely, I read that the recipe takes about 18 hours to make. Dinner tomorrow is solved!