Lemon and tarragon give this easy-to-make soup a bright flavor. If you use canned chickpeas, it cooks up in less than 20 minutes. But I recommend using chickpeas you’ve cooked yourself–the flavor and texture are far better. Just soak 2 cups of dried chickpeas in 4 cups of water overnight. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 hour, then drain and follow the recipe.
2 tsp olive oil
½ C (120 ml) onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb (450 g) chicken breast, cut into strips
2 15 oz (350 ml) cans chickpeas, drained
½ tsp black pepper
1½ tsp dried tarragon
1 C (240 ml) chicken broth
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp white sugar
1/3 C (80 ml) orzo pasta
2 C (480 ml) fresh spinach, torn into small pieces or frozen chopped spinach
1-2 Tbsp bean flour or cornstarch – optional
Salt to taste
In a medium saucepan, sauté onion, garlic, pepper and tarragon till onions are tender. Add chicken and cook 5 minutes. Add chickpeas, broth and sugar. Simmer covered for 10-15 minutes over low heat until orzo is cooked. If you want a thicker stew, whisk in 1-2 Tbsp bean flour or corn starch. Add spinach, salt and lemon juice and simmer another 5 minutes, till spinach is tender.
Crock pot version: soak chickpeas overnight, drain and put all ingredients in a crock pot except for the lemon juice, pasta and spinach. Add the pasta a spinach in the last 10-15 minutes of cooking and cook on “high” for those last 10-15 minutes. Add the lemon juice just before serving. Taste and add salt if necessary.