Chickpeas, cabbage, bacon thick soup - Gluten-free recipe by Cristina G.

I didn't use to like soups at all. And I come from Romania where borș is a tradition and a way of life.
My mom used to make soup every other day.
It was like a starter more than a unique meal. It depended though. If it was served with polenta or homebred bread could have been lunch or dinner. Never on its own though.
No, diets were out of discussion for us back then. We were farmers. We needed strength and never gained weight really.

At parties, celebrations and so on, borș was one of the three or four servings, usually the first after the starter.
Now I love soups. Any kind, every type. I love cooking them but I do not add borș.

Borș is a liquid to sour the soup - that's why it's called borș and it could be with anything: meat, chicken, potatoes, beans, leak  (never without onions though).
Romanians rarely eat a borș without this sour liquid.
I prefer to sour it just a little bit with tomato sauce - passata, or lemon juice. Sometimes I don't sour it at all, I like it sweet I don't add sugar. No. Oh, no!

In this soup though, I added sauerkraut and as the very name implies, the kraut (finely cut raw cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria) is sour.

The beans come from a can. 

Chickpeas, cabbage, bacon thick soup-gluten-free recipe by Cristina G.


Degree of difficulty: low-medium (depending on your cooking skills)
Preparation time: 25-30 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1 yellow onion. Or red, white, shallots
  • 3 full spoons of sauerkraut
  • 1 can of red beans (or another type you prefer) = @300 g 
  • 1 can of chickpeas = @300 g
  • 100 g smoked pork. If you don't have smoked, you can add unsmoked. The flavor will change dramatically. Anyway, you can add smoked bacon or any type of meat you prefer: chicken, beef, duck
  • 2 tablespoons oil. Olive oil is my favorite, but you can use whatever you have and like
  • 3-4 cups (200 ml one = 1 l) of hot water - depending on how liquid (thick) you want to have it. I would suggest you add first 2 cups, then wait to see if it's how you like it, then add others
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme or savory (English?) or a few leaves if it's fresh. - I wouldn't make any soup without thyme. It's my favorite herb ever, and I am emotionally attached to it. If you decide not to add it because you don't have it in the house, the taste will change a lot, but it will still be delicious. I would suggest you buy some as soon as possible. Thyme is perfect for soups in particular. 
  • Optional, but very recommended: 1 teaspoon of paprika (chili)
  • Optional: 1 small can of green peas = 100 g

Method of preparation: 
  • Prepare a pot or saucepan of the size you desire/have. 
  • Open the cans, wash the beans, chickpeas, green peas, let them drain. Throw the liquids away. 
  • Put the kettle on to heat the water. If you add soup, heat it in a pan. 
  • Cut the bacon in cubes/pieces of 2-3 cm. 
  • Pour the oil into the pan, let it sizzle. Add the bacon, stir. Leave it 2 minutes. Medium heat. 
  • Mince the onion and put it into the pot on top of the bacon, leave it for 2 minutes, very slow cook. 
Chickpeas, cabbage, bacon thick soup-gluten-free recipe by Cristina G.
  • Add the drained beans, chickpeas, the sauerkraut (the green peas), stir. 
Chickpeas, cabbage, bacon thick soup-gluten-free recipe by Cristina G.
  • Pour the hot water, add the thyme, cover, and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. 
Chickpeas, cabbage, bacon thick soup-gluten-free recipe by Cristina G.
  • Add salt - be careful if the bacon was salty (the sauerkraut is very salty) check the taste; add more salt and paprika if you desire.  Ready. 
Chickpeas, cabbage, bacon thick soup-gluten-free recipe by Cristina G.

  • Serve it hot or cold with toast, fresh garlic bread, croutons, any type of bread if you want. I would recommend serving it on its own - no bread crackers. 
  • It's absolutely delicious and it can be conserved for 3 days in the fridge and 2 weeks in the freezer. Portion it, have it as lunch at work or school. 

Mentions
  • Every ingredient may be replaced with whatever you like. This statement is valid for any of my recipes unless stated otherwise. If you don't like peppers, don't add any.
  • I added some cabbage on this one. But I always add or take ingredients to this recipe. Sometimes I add peas, chickpeas, lentils, and so on. The sky is the limit.
  • Please don't eliminate the onion, it gives it a special flavor. 
  • Do your best to add thyme, I am sure you'll like it.
  • If you cook for more people, double the quantities, and vice-versa. 
  • For a vegan, vegetarian version of every recipe, just eliminate the meat/pork. The taste will change, for sure, but it will still be delicious. I have tried all my meat recipes in a vegan version, and I was delighted. 
***
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Give and it shall be given to you.

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