2 cups of dry chick peas
1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
2 large onions, diced
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 stalk of celery, finely diced
3 bay leaves
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 lemon, sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
8 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
Balsamic Vinegar to taste
18 medium-sized shrimp, peeled & deveined
pinch of saffron threads
pinch of Boukovo (chilli flakes)
1. To poach your shrimp, add about 2 cups of stock into a medium pot and add a pinch of saffron threads. Bring up to a gentle boil then turn off the heat and gently drop in your shrimp. Remove the shrimp once they have curled to form a C-shape and remove with slotted spoon. Reserve shrimp for plating and you may add the poaching liquid into the soup (optional).
2. The night before, place your dried chickpeas in a bowl with enough water to cover the chickpeas by about 2 inches. The next morning, strain and rinse your chickpeas and reserve.
3. Into a large pot, add your olive oil over medium heat and throw in your onions, garlic, celery, carrots, bay leaves, thyme and paprika and simmer on medium low for about 15 minutes for the vegetables to soften.
4. Now add your chickpeas, parsley, stock and slices of lemon bring to a boil and simmer medium-low heat with the lid slightly ajar for 2-3 hours or until thick the chickpeas are fork-tender. By this time you should have a thick, chunky chick pea soup with some liquid still evident. Remove the bay leaves, lemon slices and purée.
5. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, add sliced scallions and serve in bowls topped with three poached shrimp and drizzled with Balsamic vinegar. Optional, sprinkle some chili flakes for a little warm heat.