Recipe courtesy of Gourmet Magazine

Chickpea Soup: Harira

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 10 hr 35 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Inactive: 8 hr
  • Cook: 2 hr 15 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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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


  1. Prepare chickpeas: Soak chickpeas in enough water to cover by 2 inches, for 8 to 12 hours, refrigerated.
  2. 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).
  3. Coarsely puree tomatoes in a food processor.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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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