Harira Chickpea Soup

Ingredients

Serves 6 

  • 60ml (2 fl oz) light olive oil
  • 1 medium onion – roughly chopped
  • 100g (4oz) brown lentils
  • 100g (4oz) chickpeas – soaked overnight
  • 100g (4os) dried broad beans – soaked overnight
  • 500g (1lb 2 oz) tomatoes – roughly chopped
  • 1 whole celery head – including any green leaf, chopped
  • A good pinch of saffron strands – dried and soaked in 2 tbsp boiling water for 10 minutes
  • 1 dark vegetable stock cube
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 2 ¼ litres (4 ½ pints) water
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • Juice of half a large lemon
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 large bunch parsley – finely chopped
  • 1 large bunch of coriander – finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

How To Make

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and fry until transparent.
  2. Add the lentils and cook for a few minutes, stirring continuously.
  3. Then add the chickpeas and the broad beans as well as the tomatoes, celery, saffron stock, cumin, crumbled vegetable stock cube, garlic and some black pepper.
  4. Cover with the water, lib and simmer aromatically for a good half an hour until the pulses are quite soft.
  5. In a small bowl, add just enough water to the flour to make a smooth paste and add a ladle of hot soup, stirring it briskly to avoid any lumps from forming.
  6. Return it to the pan, bring the soup back to the boil, stirring vigorously until it thickens.
  7. Add the lemon juice and adjust the seasoning with salt and extra pepper and/or cayenne if necessary.
  8. Add the parsley and coriander, stir through and remove from the heat.
  9. Serve.