Chicken, Chickpea and Silverbeet Soup
When it comes to food, we all like different things
I am very aware of this and often discuss this at length with my clients
But I was not prepared for when I enthusiastically told my husband that we were having this soup for dinner
First of all he looked at me blankly, then his response – “can we go to the pub?”
Well as much as I love going to the pub (and so does our dog! plus it’s a night off cooking – although I’d already cooked!!), I was really looking forward to trying a bowl of my latest concoction. So I insisted that he try it
Luckily it only took one mouthful to convince him – and when he’d finished that bowl-full, even asked for a second helping!
There are just a few important things to know about making this soup:
- It uses dried chickpeas
So if you have never cooked chickpeas from dry before, here is your chance to see how easy it is
Only issue is that you will need to soak them overnight first – don’t forget – but that takes only a few minutes to organise
2. I like to use chicken legs in my soup – and get the organic ones. They aren’t very expensive – it cost around $7.50 for 6 legs, but they are MUCH tastier. And make sure you take the skin off
3. Now while this soup is fairly quick and straight-forward to make, it does about an hour on the stove as you want to cook it slowly and gently. I had it simmering while I went off to yoga (so it was simmering for more like 1 1/2 hrs), which was perfect as I was quite hungry when I got back and luckily, it was ready to eat!
If you do give this soup a go, please let me know what you think
I have a feeling that like my husband you will be pleasantly surprised, as it is VERY deeelicious!
- 1 cup chickpeas
- 2 medium brown onions, chopped
- 3 celery stalks (250 grams), roughly chopped (include leaves)
- 4 very large or 6 smaller silverbeet (or Swiss chard) leaves, washed well, bottom 1 cm of stem removed, remaining stem cut from leaves and roughly chopped, leaves finely chopped
- 1 generous tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 6 chicken legs, skin removed
- 2 litres chicken stock
- pepper, to taste
- fresh parsley, to serve
- lemon wedges, optional
- The night before making this soup - place chickpeas in a large bowl and cover generously with water
- Set aside in a cool place
- The next day, heat a large pot over medium heat
- When hot, add onions, celery, silverbeet stalks and oil
- Saute for 15-20 minutes until they soften and start to brown
- Meanwhile drain and rinse the chickpeas
- Add garlic and saute for a few minutes, before adding chicken legs, chickpeas and stock
- Bring to the boil, then turn heat down to a gentle simmer, place lid on the pot and cook for at least one hour
- After an hour, check one of the chickpeas to see if they are cooked
- Place it between your thumb and first finger. If it is cooked, it will squash very easily and you can turn the heat off
- Remove chicken legs from the soup and set aside to cool a little
- Remove about 1 cup of chickpeas from the soup, along with some liquid and puree either with a hand held blender or in a food processor. Add back to the soup
- Remove meat from chicken legs and add back to the soup
- Serve sprinkled with fresh parsley and a little squeeze of lemon
If you can’t find silverbeet, you could use a bunch of spinach instead.
However you may like to add more celery as the silverbeet stalks add a lot of bulk to the soup.
A bit about Silverbeet (also known as Swiss Chard)…
photo from delicious
When it comes to vitamins, minerals and disease-fighting antioxidants and phytonutrients, silverbeet is hard to beat!
Numerous studies have found that eating plenty of leafy green vegetables slows cognitive decline in older adults. A steady intake of leafy greens is also thought to help protect against heart disease, stroke, hip fracture and certain cancers.
Silverbeet is also an outstanding source of lutein + zeaxanthin, phytochemicals that guard against cataract and macular degeneration.
Even your gut may benefit from eating more silverbeet. It turns out, our good gut bacteria extract a sulfur-containing sugar in green vegetables, called SQ for short, to fuel their growth.
Silverbeet packs a serious nutritional punch. It’s an exceptional source of magnesium (one cup delivers nearly half a day’s worth for women!), potassium, beta-carotene and lutein + zeaxanthin. It’s also a decent source of fibre, calcium, iron and vitamin C.
Note: There are no official daily requirements for beta-carotene and lutein. However, experts speculate that a daily intake of 3 to 6 mg of beta-carotene and 6 to 15 mg of lutein is needed to guard against disease.
Nutrient information per 1 cup (250 ml) chopped Silverbeet, cooked:
|Vitamin C||31.5 mg|
|Lutein + zeaxanthin||19.3 mg|
info taken from here
Chickpeas – are a good source of iron, magnesium, potassium and plant protein. The slow-burning (low GI) carbohydrate in chickpeas can help you feel satisfied longer after eating. Plus they are so yummy when cooked like this 🙂
BTW, whoever says eating healthy is expensive doesn’t know what they are talking about
This soup made with mostly organic ingredients (couldn’t get Aussie organic chickpeas, so got Aussie conventional ones instead) cost around $10 total, and made 5 very large and filling serves – that’s just $2 a bowl!!