Soupe Marocaine aux pois chiches
Also called Harira
It is snowing in New York today. the kind of snow, light and temperature that makes you think it’s December in Quebec City. But wait. it’s noon and the snow has already started melting, leaving everything soggy and brown. Oh well. Here’s a soup recipe with a moroccan twist to brighten the day.
Adapted from the November 2000 Gourmet magazine, this recipe originally calls for dry chickpeas. I went through the trouble – am I unemployed?? – of soaking them overnight and then boiling them the way they asked and honestly, I don’t think it’s worth it unless you enjoy very crunchy peas in your soup.
Note that you can also use canned tomatoes and puree them with a blender or a hand mixer.
By the way, this soup re-confirmed that green lentils are the most underrated bean in the world – they are so good!!! Remember this soup? Oh, lentilles vertes du Puys!
1 (15.5 oz) can of chickpeas
1 (35-oz) can pureed tomatoes
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 small celery rib (including leaves), finely chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup green lentils
1/4 – 1/2 cup dried capellini, broken into 1-inch pieces, or fine egg noodles (3/4 cup)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Put the chickpeas in a large saucepan and cover with at least 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered while you complete the following steps and no more than 30 minutes.
Cook onion and celery in butter in a 4-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add turmeric, pepper, and cinnamon and cook, stirring, 3 minutes.
Add chickpeas with 2 1/2 cups of their cooking water (if you do not have enough liquid, add more water).
Stir in tomatoes, 1/3 cup cilantro, vegetable broth, and lentils. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are tender, about 35 minutes.
Stir in pasta and cook, stirring, until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in parsley, remaining 1/3 cup cilantro, and salt to taste.
Makes 6 (main course) servings.