Chickpeas are a national dish in several Cyclades islands, most significantly, though, in Sifnos. This soup, prepared in unique tapered clay pots that narrow at the mouth, called xespastaria in the local dialect, is the de rigeur Sunday meal. Every family has its own such pot and brings it on Saturday night to the local baker, preferably one with a wood-burning oven. The soup bakes all night, just in time for families to pick it up on the way home from church the next day. Sometimes, rice or dried corn is added to make the soup more filling. To find some of the artisinal Greek products you'll need to make this, visit my online shop here
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Variation: Add 2 pared, finely chopped carrots and 2 finely chopped celery stalks to the soup before baking. You can also add 2 to 4 tablespoons fresh, strained lemon juice to the soup before baking.
Adapted from The Country Cooking of Greece (Chronicle Books)