Chickpea Soup with Beet Greens and Corn Fritters

Chickpea Soup

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 pound beet greens (from 2 bunches), washed; leaves roughly chopped and stems cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces
  • 7 cups water
  • One 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic, and 1 tablespoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the tomato paste, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the beet stems, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they just begin to soften, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add the beet greens, and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the chickpeas, and simmer for 15 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper.

Corn Fritters

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup finely ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning the fritters
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper or 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • Vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. While the soup is cooking, combine the water and butter in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then whisk in the cornmeal.
  2. Reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cornmeal reaches the texture of soft polenta, about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in the salt, pepper, and cheese. Cook, stirring, 1 minute longer. Add the eggs and Aleppo pepper, and whisk constantly to make sure the eggs are distributed evenly. Remove from the heat, and let cool slightly.
  4. Add 1 inch vegetable oil to a medium saucepan, and heat to 350°F. Working in batches, drop the cornmeal batter into the hot oil, 1 rounded tablespoon at a time, and fry, turning a few times, until golden all over, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, and sprinkle with salt.
  5. To serve, divide the soup among bowls, and top each with a couple of fritters. Serve.
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