RECIPE
12 INGREDIENTS11 STEPS9HR 30MIN

Leblebi (North African Chickpea Soup)

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Alexandra's Kitchen
Alexandra Stafford is the blogger behind Alexandra's Kitchen, a food blog featuring mostly simple, sometimes fussy but always seasonal recipes.
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This Leblebi is a delicious North African chickpea stew, swirled with a smoky harissa.

9HR 30MIN

Total Cooking Time

12

Ingredients
Alexandra's Kitchen
Alexandra Stafford is the blogger behind Alexandra's Kitchen, a food blog featuring mostly simple, sometimes fussy but always seasonal recipes.
GO TO BLOG
Ingredients
US / METRIC
Servings:
4
Serves 4
Chickpeas
2 1/4 cups
Dried Chickpeas
6 cups Canned Chickpeas
3 Tbsp
Kosher Salt , divided
plus 2 tsp
Leblebi
1/4 cup
1
Large Yellow Onion , diced
1/2 Tbsp
Cumin Seeds
1 tsp
to taste
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 cup
Roughly Chopped Fresh Cilantro
2 cloves
Garlic , chopped
to taste
Harissa Paste
for serving
to taste
Flatbread
for serving
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Author's Notes

If you don’t feel like using dried chickpeas and cooking them from scratch, you can use canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed. You’ll need 6 cups.

Directions

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Step 1
Soaking and cooking the chickpeas: Dissolve the Kosher Salt (3 Tbsp) into 4 quarts of water. Add the Dried Chickpeas (2 1/4 cups) and soak for 8 to 24 hours.
Step 2
Drain, rinse and place in a pot with Kosher Salt (1 tsp). Cover with water by three inches. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cook at the gentlest simmer for about 45 minutes or until the chickpeas are cooked through. Let the chickpeas cool in their cooking liquid. Store the chickpeas in their cooking liquid.
Step 3
Heat a soup pot over high heat. Add the Olive Oil (1/4 cup) , then the Yellow Onion (1) and Kosher Salt (1 tsp). Stir, turn the heat to low, and cover the pot. Check and stir after a few minutes, letting the moisture on the lid drip back into the pot to keep things steamy.
Step 4
Lower the heat if there is any browning going on, and cover. Cook like this until the onion is tender, about 15 minutes.
Step 5
Add the Cumin Seeds (1/2 Tbsp) , Paprika (1 tsp) , Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (to taste) , Fresh Cilantro (1/2 cup) , and Garlic (2 cloves) and stir for 1 minute.
Step 6
Add the Canned Crushed Tomatoes (3/4 cup) and cook for a couple of minutes more, stirring occasionally.
Step 7
Add 6 cups of the cooked chickpeas and enough of their cooking liquid to cover by 2 inches, raise the heat, and bring to a boil. You’ll need about 4 cups liquid total: all of the cooking liquid, which was 3 cups plus 1 cup extra water — the chickpeas may not be covered by 2 inches, but it will be fine.
Step 8
Lower to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
Step 9
Put 2 ladles of soup in a blender or food mill and purée — careful: it’s hot.
Step 10
Return to the soup pot and stir in to thicken the leblebi slightly. Taste for seasonings and add water or any reserved cooking liquid if it’s too thick.
Step 11
To serve: ladle the leblebi into bowls. Pass a bowl of Harissa Paste (to taste) on the side. Serve with warm Flatbread (to taste) .

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