Monday, February 22, 2016

Puree of Chickpea Soup

The internet is full of lies. I know this comes as no surprise, but there is no greater concentration of lies than in recipes. Bloggers offer gorgeous galleries of food porn and gush about the deliciousness of their recipes when the results are often quite terrible. They lie to your eyes as well as your ears.

This is something I have known for a long time, but I still am occasionally suckered in by a certain picture. Such was the case with this recipe for puree of chickpea soup. While looking over the ingredients, I couldn't help but think, "this looks like nothing more than hummus in soup form." I don't mean that anything with chickpeas is going to be like hummus. This actually duplicates a lot of the ingredients in hummus (garlic, olive oil, cumin, coriander, lemon juice, salt) and doesn't add much that hummus excludes. Red onions are pretty much the only deviation. Of course, there is also the method of preparation, but I was still drawn in by the gorgeous picture of a snowy white puree with golden droplets of olive oil and bits of fresh mint.

I don't know where the author got her chickpeas or how she got them to be so incredibly pale, but I'm guessing more than a little Photoshop trickery played a part. After all, you've got red onion, brown cumin, and coriander, and off-white chickpeas. How does any of that add up to a creamy pile of whiteness? At any rate, my soup looked like what it largely was, a bowl of slightly runny hummus:

I followed the recipe faithfully for this including going out of my way to purchase a red onion for the dish.  I even went so far as to pass the soup through a fine mesh sieve to get a super smooth texture and it is very velvety if you do that. I'd say it's worth it for the finer texture, but I'm sure it's very good chunky as well. The only thing I did not do is garnish it with olive oil and mint. I don't mind adding in the oil, but this is a delicately flavored soup and I found that stirring in the olive oil at the end of making the soup had already made it taste too strongly of olive oil. I didn't want this to be overwhelmed by more olive oil flavor and I frankly don't care for mint so I had it without the accouterments. I will note that you have to salt this very heavily to bring out the flavors.

In terms of how this tasted, it was very good if you like hummus, and I do. My only disappointment with this was that it wasn't unique enough nor did it provide the visual appeal of the pictured recipe. I may make this again, but, if I do, I'll likely make it in a pressure cooker as the dry chickpeas took forever to soften and even then they weren't super soft. 

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