The summer is in full swing, with hot days, so hot that women bump into each other at the crowded bikini section at Target to finally get this new bikini for the season. Over the next days, it will cool down and some necessary showers are coming. In Maine, the farmers often don’t have irrigation systems, they will be more than grateful for the rain. A long weekend is also on the horizon, and by then, hopefully everyone is closer to their summer vacation.
I had this wonderful soup a few weeks ago at Chase’s in Belfast’'; it was a daily special, a “Persian chickpea soup with spiced and dill.” So delectable! The dill made all the difference in the soup, plenty of fresh dill. Just for this dish (and cucumber salad) I bought a few dill plants for the garden. This recreation comes close, but the original is still hard to beat.
Persian Chickpea Soup with Dill
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 2/3 cup dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans), sorted and rinsed
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 4 cups water, divided
- 1/3 cup green lentils, sorted and rinsed
- 1 pinch of cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon garam massala
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- dash of honey or agave
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/3 cup chopped dill
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon dried mint
1. Heat the oil in a medium, heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, or until it is soft. Add the garlic and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, for 1 minute.
2. Add the chickpeas, the broth and 2 cups water to the saucepan. Stir well to blend in the onion mixture and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 1½ hours.
3. Add the lentils, spices, salt, pepper and 2 cups water. Return to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the chickpeas and lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, mix the dill, and cilantro.
5. Add the dill and cilantro to the soup. Cook over medium heat, uncovered, for 2-5 minutes.
6. Ladle the soup into a bowls and garnish each serving with a fresh dill. Serve hot.