Chickpea Soup: Harira
- 1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas
- 8 cups water
- 1 (35-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 small celery rib (including leaves), finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 4 cups vegetable broth (preferably organic) or chicken broth
- 1 cup lentils
- 2 ounces dried capellini, broken into 1-inch pieces, or fine egg noodles (about 3/4 cup)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Accompaniment: lemon wedges
Prepare chickpeas: Soak chickpeas in enough water to cover by 2 inches, for 8 to 12 hours, refrigerated.
Drain chickpeas and rinse well. Transfer to a large saucepan and add 8 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until tender, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Cool chickpeas and drain, reserving cooking liquid. You should have about 2 1/2 cups liquid (if not, add more water).
Coarsely puree tomatoes in a food processor.
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.
Stir in tomato puree, 1/3 cup cilantro, chickpeas with reserved liquid, 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. Divide among bowls and serve.
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