“Finding a friend with the same mental disorder. Priceless!”
I’m a sucker for recipes, especially if they promise to be over-the-top delicious. I’m also a believer, (see gullible) which explains a lot about my dating experiences. I either believed I could make him happy or I believed that he was perfect. I’m older, wiser, and more interested in soup.
A version of this world’s best comes from Richard Kimball’s Milk Street magazine, which deserves a look, and maybe a subscription. I made a slight adjustment in my version by cutting back on the amount of harissa, a lovely chili paste not recognized by my spellcheck.
2 quarts water
2 cups dried chickpeas
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
5 T olive oil, divided
large yellow onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced, I used 4
2 T tomato paste
2 T ground cumin, toasted – done in a small, dry frypan over medium, stirring constantly. Takes about 1 minute. Do about 5 T so you have some for final garnish
5 T harissa
3 quarts low-sodium chicken broth or water
8 ounces crusty white bread, torn in bite-size chunks
2 T lemon juice
8 soft cooked eggs, peeled and halved
1/2 cup drained capers
1/2 cup chopped pitted green olives
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, optional in my world
more harissa and toasted ground cumin if desired
This recipe goes on forever so I was hoping for delicious!
First, you’re going to soak the chickpeas in the 2 quarts of water with 2 tablespoons of salt for 12 to 24 hours. When ready to use, drain and set aside.
Then, measure out the rest of the ingredients or at least open the cans and jars. Line them up. Things are going to start moving fast and you’ve got to be ready.
Get out a large Dutch oven and heat 2 T of oil until shimmering. Add the onions and stir occasionally until lightly golden. This might take about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add tomato paste, cook and stir about 2 minutes. Paste should become a lovely brown. You’re almost there.
Stir in cumin and harissa and cook for about 1 minute. Add the chickpeas and broth. If you use veggie broth you’re entering vegetarian country. Just saying. Bring everything to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for about an hour. You’ll want to give it a stir every now and again. The goal is to get the chickpeas tender.
Meanwhile, you’re going to want to toast the bread pieces in a largish skillet with 3 tablespoons of oil and a teaspoon of salt. Crisp and light golden is the goal here. Allow the croutons to cool in the pan. This would also be a good time to soft cook the eggs.
Back to the soup. When the chickpeas are tender, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Taste. Adjust S&P.
You must be hungry by now. Place a handful of the toasty bread, also known as croutons, in the bottom of a bowl. Ladle on some of the soup. Top with egg half or halves, capers, olives, parsley and cilantro. Drizzle on some oil along with additional harissa and cumin if desired. Serve with lemon wedges.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Loved it, but don’t know if I’d label it as world’s best. The base, which occurs before all the garnish is added, is a wonderful spicy broth filled with garbanzos. A nice base that can go in so many directions.
Good news – Do some research on garbanzos, which are a good source of vegan, gluten-free protein and fiber. Best part – husband liked it. I won’t be finishing up the extra alone.
Loveya – The Grandma
Artist, African hand drum student, yoga neophyte, and Grandmother of 22 or so grandchildren. I enjoy cooking and writing. I value good friends and quiet times for reading.