Chickpeas Soup: Chickpeas Soup Recipe

This is a chorba, a lighter version of Harira served in summer. It is well spiced and nourishing but without the tedouira– the thickening mixture of yeast, flour or eggs. This soup of chickpeas is traditionally served before djedj mhemmer – browned and braised chicken.

Serves 6-8 people

175g (6 oz) dried chick-peas
225g (½ lb) shoulder of lamb, cut into small cubes
100g (4 oz) potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 medium onion, finely sliced
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1.4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 pinches pulverised saffron
4 tablespoons freshly-chopped parsley
1 tablespoon tomato puree
3 tablespoons salad oil
4 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

The day before, soak the chickpeas in plenty of water and leave to soak overnight.

The day after, drain the chickpeas and set aside. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, lamb, parsley and salt and sauté until the onions begin to turn translucent; lower heat if browning starts to occur. Add spices and sauté a minute or so. Add the chickpeas and season with a couple pinches of salt and 10 grinds fresh pepper. Stir well. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 2 hours, adding the tomato puree after 1 hour.

After 2 hours, stir in the diced potatoes and simmer for another 30 minutes. Add the lemon juice, adjust seasoning and serve at once. Drizzle lightly with extra-virgin olive oil, if desired.