Saturday, January 17, 2015

Soup and Salad: Mustard Greens and Chickpea Soup



Sautéed, braised, boiled, steamed, wilted ... oh, the indignities thrust mustard greens. I kid, but I like my mustard greens varied and raw. It's the best way to experience their full spicy flavor, but even a mushy pile of mustard greens covered in bacon is quite nutritious. Mustard greens are vita-riffic!


Salad Stuff
They're even great on tacos. Have I mentioned that I love tacos? "But wait," the television man says, "there's more!"



After a good drenching by some much-needed rainfall the garden was going all Day of the Triffids on us and needed to be dealt with in some way. Abundance is great, but not if things are dying on the ground, and how many salads can one family eat? Well, a lot, but it was time to make some soup.


Coincidentally, I'd read about a curried spinach and chickpea recipe in the new Sunset (I *HEART* Sunset Magazine). The wheels began to turn. Why not lose the curry and get the zing from mustard greens? Also, since I had such a wealth of greens, why not make an abundance of mother soup that can be tweaked with each new pot? More than a few tweaks later, soup was on ... again.

Mustard Greens and Chickpea Soup:


Ingredients

2 Cups chickpeas, rinsed, soaked and drained
1/2 Shallot, sliced thin
1 Knob of ginger, microplaned
The zest of one lemon
The juice of one half of that lemon
1/2 Knob of turmeric
5 Cups of imitation chicken broth (or the real thing, or turkey stock)
1/8th Cup lemon thyme
1/4 cup parsley heads
1/4 cup mint leaves
6 Cups packed of mixed mustard greens (I used a mix of some hot and some mild: Giant Red, Tatsoi, Green Wave, Ho Mi Z, Red Frilly, and Japanese Vitamin Greens)
2 Tablespoons aged rice vinegar

Sautée the shallot in coconut, olive or avocado oil (I used avocado and coconut) until near-translucent. Shave in the ginger, lemon zest, and turmeric. Continue to heat for another minute. Add the chickpeas and broth (or stock). Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer until the chickpeas are soft, about 20 minutes.

Allow it to cool and then put it into a blender in batches with the greens and the herbs. Make it smooth. Stir in the vinegar and the lemon juice. From here you can eat it as is (salting and peppering to taste of course), add some coconut milk or heavy cream, or even ... oh, do your thing. It's so good and good for you.

Soup for Days