Sunday, 8 September 2013

Soup Sunday: Serrouda - Moroccan chickpea and saffron soup

In addition to North African cooking, chickpeas are also used a lot in Spanish cuisine and it is the key ingredient in this weeks Soup Sunday. The soup is based on Moroccan soup called serrouda, the ingredients of which are very simple: olive oil, onion, saffron and chickpeas. I also used cumin and  coriander seeds which are staples in the cooking in that region. I also added a splash of lemon juice which brightens up the earthy flavours. Serrouda can be served both as a dip (in which case it's left thicker) and as a soup (in which case it's runnier, as it was today).

The colour is not supposed to be quite that yellow though - my interpretation was that what was left at the bottom of my packet of saffron constituted a pinch. Turned out it was a bit more. If not quite a bit more.

Serves two

1 can of chickpeas
1 onion
1/4 tsp cumin, ground
1/4 tsp coriander seeds, ground
a pinch of turmeric
a pinch of saffron
a pinch of cayenne pepper
4 dl chicken stock or vegetable stock
salt, pepper
splash of lemon juice

Olive oil to serve

Peel and chop the onion. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and peel them. The skin comes off easily by just pinching them with the tips of your fingers. Sauté the onion in generous quantity of olive oil. Add the spices and then the chickpeas. After they're coated in spices, add the stock and let simmer until cooked through - about 20 minutes. Blizz in a blender and s the season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.

Instead of croutons, I served mine with oven-baked, crispy chickpeas the recipe for which I found in my friend's vegan blog.

1 can chickpeas
1 tsp olive oil
1 dl white wine vinegar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Drain the chickpeas. Peel them and spread on tray lined with parchment. Bake at 200º  until they're completely dry. Mix the marinade and toss the chickpeas in it. Return to the oven and continue baking until they're crispy, 30-40 minutes. Here are some useful tips I found on the internet (it's not all naked people, you know): for some reason chickpeas you've soaked and cooked yourself ted to yield better results than the canned variety. In case the chickpeas fail to crisp up, remove from the oven, let cook and then bake again.

PS. For those who abhor salt and vinegar-combination , here's a tip: After drying the chickpeas in the oven you can also toss them in spiced oil. Mix 1-2 tsp oil with spices of your choice (for instance cumin, coriander seeds, cayenne pepper and/or paprika or curry with ginger, garlic, cardamom and turmeric), toss the chickpeas in it making sure that they're evenly coated and return to the oven. These need shorter time to bake, about 20 minutes at 225º   should do it. 

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