Bethany Kehdy’s Silky Chickpea and Lamb Soup recipe
Following a sold-out residency at Marylebone’s Carousel restaurant, Lebanese-American chef Bethany Kehdy is now preparing for a second London pop-up, this time at Jago restaurant on Hanbury Street. This one–week residency, starting on 7th November 2016, will see Bethany serving up a five-course menu, with dishes that celebrate her famous style of cooking, which focuses on traditional Levantine dishes refreshed with a modern approach.
Diners can expect to enjoy dishes from Bethany’s award-winning cookbook, The Jewelled Kitchen, accompanied by a selection of Lebanese wines and Middle Eastern cocktails – including her famous Arak Bloody Mary – and some delicious Za’Atar and Mulberry Bellinis.
In the run up to next week’s residency, Bethany has shared with us the recipe for her Silky Chickpea and Lamb Soup, a warming dish arriving in perfect time for those of starting to feel the chill of autumn.
Chickpea and Lamb Soup
Prep time: 30 minutes (plus 32 hours of optional preparation)
Cooking time: 1½ hours (plus optional cooking the chickpeas until tender)
What you need:
2 tbsp rye flour (optional)
2 tbsp strong bread flour (optional)
350g lamb shank
¼ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
20g salted butter or smen
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
5cm piece of root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2l cups vegetable stock
a pinch of ground saffron (optional)
125g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and cooked, or 250g tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
250g brown lentils, rinsed
1 bay leaf
1 wedge of preserved Lemon, rind rinsed and finely chopped, or zest of half a lemon
1 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves, plus extra for sprinkling
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a few pitted dates, to serve
1 lemon, quartered, to squeeze warm bread (optional), to serve
What you need to do:
- If you are using the starter, which will give a thicker, smoother soup, early in the morning of the first day, put 10g of the rye flour and 10g of the strong bread flour in a mixing bowl and mix together. Pour over 1 tablespoon lukewarm water and mix well. Cover the starter with kitchen paper and set aside in a warm place (22–25˚C).
- During the morning of the following day, “feed” the starter with the remaining flours and about 2 teaspoons lukewarm water, stirring very well to combine. Set aside, covered as above, for a further 8 hours.
- Rub the lamb shank with the cardamom, cumin, smoked paprika, coriander and cinnamon and season with some salt. Set aside. With a sharp knife, cut a cross in the skin of each tomato, then put them in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to stand for 2–3 minutes or until the skins have split, then drain. Plunge into cold water to stop them cooking, then peel off the skins and discard. Slice in half and scoop out the seeds, then finely chop the flesh.
- Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, cover the pan and reduce the heat to low, then leave to sweat, stirring often, for five minutes or until softened.
- Increase the heat to medium, add the lamb and any loose spices and sear for 3 minutes on each side. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a further minute until aromatic, then add the tomatoes, stock, saffron, if using, chickpeas lentils and bay leaf.
- Cover the pan, increase the heat to high and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour or until the lentils are soft and the meat is tender. Discard the bay leaf.
- Remove the lamb from the pan and cut away the meat into small bite-sized pieces, then return the meat to the pan with the bone. You can extract the marrow with a narrow spoon or skewer, if you like.
- Dilute the starter, if using, with 100ml water, stir well, then slowly pour it into the pan, stirring for about 20 minutes or until the mixture has thickened. Stir in the preserved lemon and coriander and season with pepper. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with coriander and serve with dates, lemon quarters and warm Arabic Bread, if you like.