Author Topic: Tunisian Tomato Soup with Chickpeas and Lentils  (Read 86 times)

Olga Drozd

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Tunisian Tomato Soup with Chickpeas and Lentils
« on: July 01, 2018, 03:52:15 PM »
Tunisian Tomato Soup with Chickpeas and Lentils

This is a very satisfying soup.  Streamline the preparation time by chopping the onions, mincing the garlic, and sauteing them with the seasonings while the legumes cook.

1 cup uncooked chickpeas, soaked overnight (OR 1 to 2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas)
1 cup uncooked lentils (any kind), rinsed and picked over
1 cinnamon stick
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 cups minced onion
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 to 3 bay leaves
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
Black pepper and cayenne to taste
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or to taste)

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS:

Yogurt
Minced fresh parsley or mint
A few currants

Place the soaked, uncooked chickpeas in a large pot and cover with water by 3 inches.  Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, partially cover, and cook for 1 hour.  (IF you're using canned chickpeas, rinse and drain, them, and set them aside.)

Add the lentils and cinnamon stick, partially cover again, and cook for another 30 minutes, or until the chickpeas and lentils are perfectly tender, but not mushy. 

(If you're using canned chickpeas, just cook the lentils with the cinnamon stick in 7 cups water until tender, about 30 minutes.)  remove and discard the cinnamon stick, and drain the legumes, saving the water.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven.  Add the onion, garlic, salt, turmeric, cumin seeds, ground cumin, and bay leaves, and saute over medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the onions are soft.

Add 6 cups of water (including the reserved cooking water from the lentils) and the tomatoes, and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat to a simmer, partially cover, and cook for another 15 minutes or so.  (The timing does not need to be exact.)  Fish out and discard the bay leaves.

Stir in the chickpeas and lentils, and cook for about 5 minutes longer, so the legumes won't become mushy.  Season to taste with black pepper, cayenne, and lemon juice.

Serve hot, topped with some yogurt, a sprinkling of parsley or mint, and currants, if desired.  Yield: 6 servings (maybe a little more)

Preparation time:
About 80 minutes with dried chickpeas; 50 minutes with canned chickpeas (25 minutes of work either way).

This soup freezes well if stored in an airtight container.