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Provencal Chickpea Soup Satisfying for Everyone

Last spring, during the covid-19 pandemic, we were all craving warm, comfort food. This Provencal Chickpea Soup seemed like the perfect answer to the strange environment that we were suddenly facing. Also known as Fourmade, is at its very core a hearty soup made by impoverished people to provide an inexpensive and healthy filling meal. This soup surprisingly rich and luxurious tasting. Once you make the basic recipe try embellishing with leeks, chickpeas, grated Parmesan, cooked rice or even croutons fried in olive oil. My inspiration for this delicious creation came from two sources, Soupo de Cece (from Chef J.B. Reboul) and Marcella Hazan’s version (see note below).  Suitable for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diets the recipe ingredients are few, and you can play with additional toppings.

Provencal Chickpea Soup

Provencal Chickpea Soup (Fourmade)

Easy to master Provencal chickpea soup is so surprisingly rich and luxurious tasting, that even my 9-year-old son is convinced it has cream in it.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup (128g) Chickpea flour
  • 2 quarts (1.9L) Cool Water
  • 1 tsp Herbes de Provence
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper or Espelette (or nothing)
  • 2 tsp flaked sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil

Optional ingredients:

  • 2 Leeks washed well and diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 15 oz (425g) canned chickpeas

Instructions
 

  • Put chickpea flour, water, herbes, cumin, Aleppo, salt, pepper, and oil into a blender and blend until smooth, about 15 seconds.
  • Pour the contents into a Dutch oven and heat slowly over low to medium heat until hot, about 30 minutes, stirring often. Adjust seasoning to your taste.

Optional Additions:

  • For the leeks, slowly cook washed leeks in olive oil over a low flame at a grandmotherly pace until they almost melt, about 30 minutes. Add to soup.
  • For the chickpeas, open can and add both the liquid and the chickpeas.

Notes

Tip: Use a whisk to stir the soup to keep it from scorching on the bottom. There is nothing worse than eating gritty leeks, but I learned a trick for easily cleaning them. Dice the leeks and cover them with cold water in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and agitate the water. The salt acts as an abrasive, and the dirt and sand will settle to the bottom of the bowl. With a slotted spoon, scoop the leeks out of the water. Do not pour the leeks and water through a strainer because you would just be pouring the sand back over the leeks.
Marcella Hazan Version: In her lovely book, Marcella Cucina, Marcella offers a simple variation made without chickpea flour. Simply slowly cook leeks, add cooked chickpeas and water and simmer until done. Puree a few ladle fulls of soup and add back to the broth. Finish soup with grated Parmesan and black pepper.
Keyword Chickpeas, Soups
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Other Soup Recipes from Provence:

Marseille Fish Soup – Soupe de Poisson

Butternut Squash Soup with Mushrooms and Hazelnuts

Coconut Curry Chicken Soup

Creamy Mushroom and Chestnut Soup

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Chef François de Mélogue

Chef François de Mélogue

François de Mélogue grew up in a very French household in Chicago. His earliest attempts at cookery began with the filleting of his sister’s goldfish at age two and a braised rabbit dish made with his pet rabbits by age seven. He eventually stopped cooking his pets and went to the highly esteemed New England Culinary Institute where he graduated top of his class in 1985.

Chef François de Mélogue has over 30 years of cross-cultural culinary experience and brings an impressive culinary history and a unique Mediterranean cooking style. After graduating top of his class from the notable New England Culinary Institute, Chef François began his career in a number of highly acclaimed kitchens across the country, including Chef Louis Szathmary’s restaurant The Bakery in Chicago, Old Drovers Inn, a Relais and Chateaux property in New York and Joel Robuchon Gastronomie restaurant in Paris, before opening award-winning restaurant Pili Pili in his hometown of Chicago, rated in the Top Ten new restaurants in the World by Food and Wine magazine in 2003.

While staging with Robuchon, Chef François began to shape his personal culinary philosophy of “Cuisine Actuelle,” which showcases the natural flavor in the ingredients used to create his dishes. In line with his belief that food should be prepared without unnecessary distractions or alterations, François creates honest, healthy and delicious cuisine that is approachable and always delightful. Chef François specializes in simply prepared Southern French-inspired cuisine enhanced by his appreciation and knowledge of fine wine, craft beer, charcuterie and cheese. He is a fervent student and strong advocate of regional French cuisines, specifically the rustic cuisines of Lyon and Provence. With wife Lisa, they conduct personalized, insider gastronomic tours of Burgundy/Lyon, Provence and the Pacific Northwest.

Chef François resides in Vancouver, Washington with his wife Lisa and seven-year-old son Beaumont, who has proclaimed himself the family saucier. He has written his first cookbook about Provence, entitled Cuisine of the Sun: A Ray of Sunshine on Your Plate, and works for Foods in Season, America’s foremost foraging company specializing in hyper-seasonal, wild foraged and fished foods from the Pacific Northwest.

Chef François' latest publication French Cooking for Beginners: 75+ Classic Recipes to Cook Like a Parisian takes you on a culinary journey well beyond the streets of Paris.

Follow his blog Pistou and Pastis and Simple French Cooking both websites are filled with delicious recipes and beautiful photos.

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