Stop Bookmarking. Start Cooking!

You know when you come across a recipe and think "wow, I need to make that one," so you bookmark it and tell yourself that you'll get back to it and buy the ingredients and yadda yadda yadda? 

I do that a lot, admittedly. But recently I decided it's time to just make them and stop bookmarking. I have all sorts of ingredients in my house waiting to be used. If it's worth making, why wait? It really can't be that I need to go out and shop for an entire recipe's worth of stuff, can it? And frankly, all the bookmarking and needing to remember feels like a lot of work. 

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So with that in mind, yesterday I rediscovered a recipe from Martha Rose Shulman's Recipes For Health series that I bookmarked over a year ago. I have found so many fantastic recipes from this series over the years and have bookmarked dozens. This one - Valencian Chickpea and Chard Soup, is definitely one I'll make again. I love chick peas and I love how they maintain their consistency in soups. I didn't have chard so I used 2 bunches of fresh spinach to substitute. The soup is light with it's water and chopped tomato base and the added eggs (I used two full eggs instead of 2 egg yolks) gave it a richness that made it hearty enough for dinner. 

I'm pretty excited to reheat this tonight for dinner. And now I can get going on all the other delicious recipes I've been meaning to cook... 

Here is Martha Rose Shulman's recipe with my changes as noted:

1/2 pound (about 1 1/3 cups) chickpeas, rinsed and soaked for 4 to 6 hours or overnight in 1 quart water

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 to 4 garlic cloves (to taste), minced

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 to 3 teaspoons sweet paprika, to taste

1 pound tomatoes, grated or peeled, seeded and chopped, or 1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes with juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 pound Swiss chard or kale, stemmed, washed and coarsely chopped, or 1/2 pound stemmed, chopped Southern greens mix (I used 2 bunches of fresh spinach) 

Optional enrichment:

2 egg yolks (I used 2 whole eggs) 

3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 to 1 1/2 cups cooked rice (I omitted) 

1. Drain the chickpeas and combine with 6 cups water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer 1 hour. Set a strainer over a bowl and drain the chickpeas. Measure the broth and add enough water to make 6 cups.

2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, parsley and paprika, and stir for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes cook down slightly and smell fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the chickpeas, broth, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer, cover and simmer 30 to 60 minutes, until the chickpeas are thoroughly tender. Add the greens and bring back to a simmer. Cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, until the greens are very tender. Taste and adjust seasonings.

3. When ready to serve, if using the egg and lemon, beat together the egg yolks and lemon juice in a bowl. Making sure that the broth is not boiling, whisk in a ladleful of broth from the soup. Turn off the heat under the soup and add the mixture back into the soup while stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. The eggs should not curdle but should cloud the soup.

4. Spoon a few tablespoons of rice into each soup bowl and ladle in the soup. Serve hot.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Advance preparation: You can make this through Step 2 up to a day ahead. Reheat to a simmer and proceed with the recipe.