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      RECIPE TITLE "Chickpea Soup a la Provençale" Author: Twelve Months Monastery Soups Copyright© 1998 byVictor-Antoine D' Avila-Latourrette

    yields 6 portionstime---difficultyeasy

    Chickpeas, or pois chiches, as they are called in France, have always been a favorite in the Provenþal cuisine--or, for that matter, in the cuisine of Mediterranean Europe. The combined flavors of the chickpeas, spinach, and leeks create a marvelous blend. And, of course, the leguminous nature of the chickpea adds an exquisite texture to the soup. To give a true "Provenþal" flavor to the soup, be generous in your use of Provenþal herbs and use a high-quality extra-virgin olive oil.


    2 cups dried chickpeas
    1/2 cup olive oil
    4 leeks, white part only, thinly sliced
    10 cups water
    1/2 pound chopped spinach
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    4 tablespoons herbs Provenþal (thyme, rosemary, oregano, marjoram, bay leaf)
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 teaspoon butter or margarine
    fried croutons


    1. Soak the chickpeas overnight. Rinse them in cold water.
    2. Pour the oil into a soup pot, add the thinly sliced leeks, and sautÚ gently over medium heat for a few minutes. Add the water, chickpeas, spinach, garlic, herbs, and seasonings.
    3. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low-medium. Cover the pot and cook the soup slowly until the chickpeas are tender (50-60 minutes). Simmer for 15 minutes more.
    4. When the soup is done, blend in a blender or food mill. Pour the soup back into the pot and reheat it. Serve the soup in hot bowls. Add butter and a few fried croutons to the top of each serving.

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    Twelve Months Monastery Soups Twelve Months of Monastery Soups: International Favorites "Of soup and love, the first is best." Brother Victor-Antoine makes a passionate case for this Spanish proverb in Twelve Months of Monastery Soups, bringing easy, delicious, soul-satisfying soup recipes from the monastery to your kitchen. From simple, clear broths to thick, hearty soups, there's a recipe to appeal to every taste. Arranged by month with an eye toward seasonal variety and at least one recipe for every vegetable native to North America, the 175 soups include classic favorites such as Cream of Corn and Tomato and more unique recipes such as Jerusalem Artichoke, Provenþal Rainbow, and Danish Onion-Champagne. With inspirational quotes proclaiming the goodness of soup sprinkled throughout and beautiful period block prints, Twelve Months of Monastery Soups is a celebration of the art of soup-making.


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