Moroccan Chickpea Soup

This is probably my all-time favorite soup recipe, which is saying a lot since I make soup  a l l  t h e  t i m e  in the winter.  Nutritious, inexpensive, delicious — it just doesn’t get any better.  The recipe is from Gourmet, with a couple of my own tweaks.

Ingredients

  • 2 cans of chickpeas, drained
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 (35-oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small celery rib (including leaves), finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (preferably organic) or chicken broth
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 2 oz dried capellini, broken into 1-inch pieces, or fine egg noodles (3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • red pepper flakes to taste

Cook garlic, onion and celery in butter in a 4-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened.  Add turmeric, pepper, cumin, red pepper flakes and cinnamon and cook, stirring, 3 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes, 1/3 cup cilantro, chickpeas, 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.

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