One of the reasons I believe Greek food is among the healthiest cuisines on the planet, is a simple recipe like this… The earthy goodness and nutritional value of this dish makes its own case. For those of you who are vegetarians or for those who are trying to cut back on meat consumption, this dish provides a heart healthy and hearty alternative to more common legume/bean soups.
Canned or dried chickpeas can be used for this recipe. If you are going to be using dried chickpeas, make sure to wash and soak them overnight so as to soften them up and prepare them for cooking. Also, make sure to rinse the soaked chickpeas well before using them (this applies to the canned varieties as well).
1 lb. (½ kg.) of chickpeas
2 finely chopped onions
1 cup (250 ml.) extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. (5 ml.) dried Greek oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
*optional: several strands of Greek saffron
1. Heat oil in a saucepan and sauté onions until soft.
2. Add drained chickpeas, salt, pepper, saffron*, and water to cover chickpeas by about 1 inch (2 ½ cm.). Cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until chickpeas are soft and tender. Note: you may need to add some more water if you have to cook them longer than 2 hours as previously dried chickpeas generally take longer to completely cook through.
3. Serve hot or cold with lemon juice.
Garnish with chopped parsley and a lemon wedge.
Can it get any easier than that?!