Recipe by evelyn/athens
I made this soup up the other day and it is real comfort food. Hearty and healthy (well, if you don't count the bacon!) - it makes a big pot and that's a good thing as you'll want more than one bowl. You can make this soup vegetarian by omitting the bacon, but do add a couple of tablespoonfuls of olive oil to saute the onions in.
- 2 medium onions, chopped fine
- 2 large fat garlic cloves, chopped fine
- 8 ounces bacon, chopped into little pieces
- 1 lb chickpeas, soaked for 9-12 hours (I used the pre-peeled ones)
- 3 large carrots, grated
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 1⁄3-1⁄2 cup pearl barley
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
- salt and pepper
Directions See How It's Made
- Saute onion, garlic and bacon together until the onion is soft and translucent. Don't be tempted to drain the bacon fat (I use a rather lean bacon, anyway, and there's not that much fat - if you have tons of it, then remove some). Add the chickpeas, carrots, tomato paste, bay leaf and 1 1/2 quarts water. Season to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered for 1/2 an hour. Add the pearl barley and simmer for another 40-60 minutes, or until the chickpeas and barley are cooked through and the soup is quite thick (if the soup is too thick, thin with a little hot water until you achieve the consistency you desire).
- This was a really satisfying meal with a tossed green salad and garlic bread.