Talking to Imad made me think about family and origins, so this post is for my (extended and very supportive) family.
My culinary education originates from my grandmother (about her in another post) and my parents in-law that opened up before me a whole new world of tastes and smells and taught me that one cannot buy everything in the supermarket. For years they have been buying produce, if possible, directly from the growers, among them Imad and his brother, and their father beforehand. Naturally, they introduced me to Imad, who treats me as though I was his sister. Unfortunately, the cucumber season is over, but when summer will return I promise to post a recipe with the best cucumbers in Israel.
I like listening to the stories that come with food. The memories of smells and tastes of a meal merge with today’s experience that forms through connecting the pieces of sensory information. Thus, it seems that we can’t avoid seasoning our food with memories.
This soup came with Daniel’s (my father in-law) childhood memories in Tunisia of a workers’ breakfast, soup stalls along the road and a boy that eats with his father.
I like this soup because it’s really tasty (first time I tried it, I immediately asked for another serving), really quick (after the chickpeas are cooked), and you kill two birds with one stone – you get hummus salad and soup. Perfect.
This is one of those by eye and according to taste recipes.
Ingredients for 2 servings:
1 cup cooked chickpeas plus 1/2 cup divided
1 cup chickpea cooking water
½ – 1 tsp. cumin seeds, slightly crushed
juice from ½ lemon
Chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, garlic, lemon juice, Harissa, olive oil
Cook the chickpea beans (after soaking for 12 hours) in a large pot with lots of water (I always make at least ½ kg so I can use some for hummus, some for the soup and some to keep in the freezer for later; it comes with motherhood). When the chickpeas are tender, transfer 1 cup chickpeas and 1 cup cooking water into another pot; 1:1 ratio will result in a relatively thin soup, and I advise to start there and add more beans for a thicker soup. Crush chickpeas with a hand blender to desired consistency, and start heating the soup on a medium heat. Add cumin seeds, salt and lemon juice. Cook for 5 minutes, and that’s it.
What remains is making it really pretty and tasty. To a bowl of soup add 1 Tbsp. chopped parsley, 1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro, 1 garlic clove minced, 1 Tbsp. whole chickpeas, another squeeze of lemon juice, a bit of olive oil and most important 1 tsp. Harissa. Feel free to change the quantities of toppings according to your taste. Serve with pita or bread.
- Since buying canned chickpeas in our house is a faux pas, I’ve never tried it that way which will be much quicker. I’d like to hear if anybody tries.
- The soup is best the day it’s made, but it can be refrigerated (without toppings) and reheated. When it’s cold it becomes thicker, but returns to the original consistency after heating. You can add some water if it’s too thick. Serve with fresh toppings.