Turkish Sucuk & Black Chickpea Soup

Yields4 Servings
Prep Time5 minsCook Time2 hrs

This Turkish Sucuk & Black Chickpea Soup is typical of many versions I sampled while travelling around Turkey. It was winter for the the month I was there, so every town I passed through had some kind of bean or lentil soup on offer for shivering arrivals.

In one such trip, to the city of Konya, in Central Anatolia, I'd just arrived after an excruciating 4 hour coach journey. I'd been instructed to "take off your headphones and watch the entertainment" by a burley stewardess. This entertainment consisted of a sole TV show - looping every 30 minutes featuring a Turkish (supposed) comedian. It ran at full volume, and played through what I can only describe as two tin can, cat-screeching loud speakers for the entirety of the journey.

By the time we reached Konya i was in no mood for anything or anybody, so made a bee-line for the first restaurant I could see. I settled on a small rustic looking restaurant where a woman sat in the window, flipping thin breads on a large metal domed pan - she smiled as I entered and I knew I was going to be OK.

I ate so much in this place. Breads with Za'atar, tiny ravioliesque stuffed pasta called Manti with yoghurt and chilli butter, tiny lamb kofta in a pool of buttery sauce over pureed beans - but the meal began with a small bowl of sausage (sucuk) and chickpea soup.

For something so humble it packed a spice laden punch. It was spicy but not hot and meaty, notes of cumin and other warming spices came through. It was creamy and rich and warmed my entire soul. The comedian began to fade from my memory as I took my first slurp.

I've recreated this at home using the authentic Turkish sucuk but replaced the regular chickpeas in the original for black ones I'd recently purchased. I also remember there being some kind of dark leafy vegetable like a Silverbeet in the Konya version which I didn't add. Nevertheless, my version was actually really delicious! The sucuk has so much flavour itself, that there's not a lot of need for much else to flavour the soup - it's sweet, earthy and satisfying. You'll love it.

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion (chopped)
2 celery sticks (chopped)
2 carrots (chopped)
½ Suçuk sausage (cubed)
1 tsp Aleppo pepper flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 large tomato (chopped)
1 cup dried black chickpeas (soaked overnight)
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1

Heat a large pan over a moderate heat with the oil. When hot, fry the onion, celery, carrot and sucuk for 5 minutes until the onion has softened.

2

Sprinkle over the Aleppo pepper flakes and cumin then and add the tomato and chickpeas. Stir well then pour in 1 1/2 litres of water.

3

Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and then simmer gently for 2 hours or until the chickpeas are soft. It may take longer as sometimes chickpeas can hold out!

4

To create a bit of creaminess, remove half the solids from the soup and blend them in a blender, food processor or with a stick blender. Return them to the pan and stir.

5

Finally, season with the salt and pepper and serve.

Ingredients

 2 tbsp olive oil
 1 onion (chopped)
 2 celery sticks (chopped)
 2 carrots (chopped)
 ½ Suçuk sausage (cubed)
 1 tsp Aleppo pepper flakes
 1 tsp ground cumin
 1 large tomato (chopped)
 1 cup dried black chickpeas (soaked overnight)
 1 tsp salt
 Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1

Heat a large pan over a moderate heat with the oil. When hot, fry the onion, celery, carrot and sucuk for 5 minutes until the onion has softened.

2

Sprinkle over the Aleppo pepper flakes and cumin then and add the tomato and chickpeas. Stir well then pour in 1 1/2 litres of water.

3

Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and then simmer gently for 2 hours or until the chickpeas are soft. It may take longer as sometimes chickpeas can hold out!

4

To create a bit of creaminess, remove half the solids from the soup and blend them in a blender, food processor or with a stick blender. Return them to the pan and stir.

5

Finally, season with the salt and pepper and serve.

Turkish Sucuk & Black Chickpea Soup