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Chickpea Soup from Sifnos Island

Sifnos is an island with many a natural beauty; it could also be described as the ‘flavourful’ island as a number of particularly tasty dishes originate in Sifnos. One of the best known local dishes is chickpea soup, a delicious and nutritious casserole preparation.

 


Revithada (Greek name) is a really plain chickpea soup that gets cooked over low heat in a wood-fired oven, inside a clay casserole dish called skepastaria which transforms it into a divine creation! This is a typical local Sunday main meal. According to tradition, housewives used to prepare the chickpea soup on Saturday evening, they would put it in the oven at a low temperature and they would open the pot the following morning after Sunday Mass.
There are three things that make the authentic Sifnos chickpea soup recipe unique: skepastaria, a long clay lidded cooking vessel with side handles, with a ring of dough placed where the lid fits the pot; rainwater that helps the legumes turn mellow and cook sooner; and virgin olive oil.


Have we whetted your appetite? In case you find the traditional recipe and method hard to copy, here is an easier variation for you to try.

 


Ingredients
500gr chickpeas
3 onions coarsely chopped
1 cup of olive oil
Salt, pepper
Lemon
Bay leaf


Instructions
The previous evening place the chickpeas in plenty of water and allow them to soak and soften. The following morning, rinse them well, rubbing them gently to loosen their skins. Place them in a lidded clay casserole dish. Add the chopped onion, olive oil, the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Fill the pot with water. It is very important to fill it to the brim, so that chickpeas are entirely covered by water. Place the lid on the pot and cook at low heat for approximately six hours. When ready, add some fresh lemon juice to the soup for extra flavour and serve.

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