Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans), Kale and Salmon Soup, with egg and long grain rice

Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans, Kale and Salmon Soup, with egg and long grain rice

Maybe it’s just as well I tweaked my blog yesterday to go with a slightly more summery look as it’s in keeping up with the new look WP. And I was wondering why my, previously, grey bar was having hiccups for the last few days. So, the guys behind the scenes have been busy. Well, this Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans, Kale and Salmon Soup ought to keep them going. Full to the brim with nutrients – so many I wouldn’t even care to mention details of. Regardless how simple and rustic this may be it’s packed with flavour. And, even better, it’s very easy to cook.

Partly as I’d already blanched the leftover kale, half of which I’d used within my previous post, the night before. All that’s needed are onions pan-fried until pretty much caramelised, a light stock prepared and then it’s a case of chucking in some cooked egg, rice and chickpeas, the latter, usually in my case, heated through with garlic. Have I included enough commas in that last sentence?!? Hope so!

Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans, Kale and Salmon Soup, with egg and long grain rice


  • olive oil
  • 200g (7.05 oz) x onions, halved, peeled and chopped
  • 100g (3.52 oz) x already chopped kale, pick out any thick ribs and discard + any leaves that are blemished, then blanched – see instructions below


  • 2 x celery stalks/ribs, washed, trimmed and cut in half
  • 1 x large fresh sprig thyme, rinsed
  • 2 x dried bay leaves, split
  • 5 x whole black peppercorns
  • 1/4 x teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 500ml (1.05 US pt lqd) x cold water
  • 1/4 – 1/2 x organic vegetable stock cube (start off with less and add more after the soup has cooked fully, if necessary)


  • olive oil
  • 100g (3.52 oz) x dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans), soaked overnight and well rinsed next day and cooked to pack’s instructions.
  • 4 x organic garlic cloves, root end cut off and discarded, peeled and crushed
  • 1 (or more) x wild pacific salmon frozen fillet
  • 1 (or more) x large free range (cage free) egg
  • about 80g (2.82 oz) x long grain rice, cooked to the pack’s instructions
  • seasoning, both freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
  • fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped or snipped with scissors, to serve
  • Grana Padano or Parmesan, shaved or grated, to serve

Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.


  • It’s not absolutely essential to blanch the kale previously to making the soup, but I wanted to store the remaining kale from the day before, and I didn’t want to take the risk of the leaves turning yellow overnight. So, to blanch put a large saucepan on electric heat No 4 (out of 6) with plenty of lightly salted cold water. Prepare the kale by picking through the leaves and discarding any thick ribs and blemished leaves. Bring the water to a boil, carefully place the kale in and bring back to a boil again. That’s pretty much all that’s needed. Once the kale has wilted take off heat, strain through a metal colander, add to a suitable bowl or return to the saucepan and run cold water on it until the kale is absolutely cold. Drain, then using your hands squeeze out excess water.
  • What is essential is to soak the dried chickpeas overnight in plenty of cold water. Next day rinse well and add to a large saucepan with a lid. Put on heat No 4, bring to a boil. Remove from heat and drain. Repeat this process another two times, the third time leaving them to simmer on a reduced heat, No 2, until cooked. Take off heat, drain through a suitable colander and set aside.
  • Put a heavy-based saucepan on heat No 3. When hot pour in enough oil to coat its base. Add the onions and plonk on a lid. Allow about 15 minutes for the onions to start to soften, stirring through occasionally. Remove lid, reduce heat if necessary and continue to fry the onions until they start to turn a pale golden colour. Add a little more oil or even a splash of cold water if there’s any sign of the onions drying out.
  • In the meantime prep the stock by adding those ingredients to a large saucepan. Put on heat No 4 with a lid, bring to a boil, reduce heat to No 2 and simmer for about 30 minutes. There’s no need to strain the stock, simply take off heat. Do retrieve the whole black peppercorns and remove those.
  • Pour the stock into the caramelised onions, or vice versa, to grab all of that sediment. Bring this to simmering point, and at this stage it’s possible to taste for any needed extra stock.
  • In a large saucepan add a little oil and put on heat No 3. Add the cooked chickpeas when the pan is hot enough and allow at least 15 minutes for the chickpeas to gain a pale golden colour. Take off heat, crush the garlic and add that to the pan, stirring through to coat the chickpeas. Put back on heat No 1 to cook out the rawness of the garlic, if necessary. There should be enough heat in the pan to cook the garlic without it turning golden brown.
  • If using frozen salmon fillets place them in a shallow pan/skillet with barely enough cold water to cover. Put on heat No 3 and bring to near simmering. Remove the fillet with a fish slice and, under cold running water remove any white gunge that may have risen to the surface. This will also prevent the fish from overcooking. If not fully cooked at this point do add to the soup at least 5 – 10 minutes before serving to make sure the fish is fully cooked.
  • Cook the rice to the pack’s instructions, taking off heat several minutes before end of cooking time. Plunge into cold running water. When the soup is nearly ready add the rice and allow a couple of minutes to fully cook the rice. That way the rice shouldn’t  overcook.
  • Put a shallow pan on heat No 3 with a little oil. Crack the egg or eggs into it when hot enough and immediately start to swirl the egg with a wooden spoon to prevent it from turning into scrambled eggs. What is needed are strands of egg or small clumps rather than scrambled.
  • To serve the soup combine all cooked ingredients, putting the soup on heat to bring back to a simmer. Make sure the rice and salmon  are fully cooked before serving.

All photographs within (Todas las fotografías dentro de) Feed the Piglet:
All rights reserved (© Todos los derechos reservados) – Copyright © Johnny H Hepburn


  1. Your photos are amazing. I think that you should be declared the champion of soup creations. You are always so creative and they all sound so delicious.


    • That’s so nice of you to comment, or say. I really appreciate that. Especially as I was cursing the lack of good natural light earlier.
      – Have to admit I do love soup. And that includes right through summer. Admittedly I’m after some plump cherries, atm to try out a chilled soup that I have a recipe for. That might have to wait until it’s warmer here – and the cherries come down in price!


  2. Ok Johnny, you are making me feel the need to crank up the AC and make a bowl of soup, between your stew yesterday and this soup today, you’re wearing me down I have to cook. Love this, everything in it, I want a bowl.


    • Awww, you’ve just made me grin from ear to ear. I’m not doing this on purpose you know! I won’t think less of you if you eat only cold food for the next while. Actually, I’ve only ever been to NYC when it was freezing cold. However, I’ve lived in London during heatwaves and it can be unbearable. And that was without AC! So I can empathize. Have to say, this is very nice served warm. Although, soups like this do need to be thoroughly heated through and allowed to cool – there, there, that’s my disclaimer sorted 🙂


  3. I picture myself sitting there eating this delicious soup, reaching over to turn the page of the book and knocking over the little jar of chickpeas! I have never had salmon in a soup before, other than perhaps cioppino. I love a nice brothy soup. This is it..a perfect brothy soup.


    • Have just Googled cioppino, and that looks and sounds delicious. I love fish soup, yet it’s something I’m often loath to order. Although, one of my favourite meals – ever – was ordered in Ostend, Belgium where the soup had been made fresh with nine different types of fish. And (more recently) in Perpignan, SE France the fish soup (think bouillabaisse, 10/10) I managed to order was superb. I’ve yet to try to make a bouillabaisse! Think that may be out of my league.
      – What is it with me and soups??
      – Lovely comment, btw. Sitting there eating this…


  4. Have to agree with Karen – you are the Soup Master! Love the new header, looks really summery and gives off a light and airy feel.


    • Thanks, Kiki. Love that you’re always so observant, in a constructive way. And it’s only taken me over a year to bother to catch up, re header??
      – Yes, what is it with soups…I’ve just raved to tinywhitecottage about two different meals where, on both occasions, fish soup was ordered. Although, I’m leaving bouillabaisse to the experts! One day…


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