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.
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.
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.
Lower the heat if there is any browning going on, and cover. Cook like this until the onion is tender, about 15 minutes.
Cumin Seeds (1/2 Tbsp)
Paprika (1 tsp)
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (to taste)
Fresh Cilantro (1/2 cup)
Garlic (2 cloves)
and stir for 1 minute.
Canned Crushed Tomatoes (3/4 cup)
and cook for a couple of minutes more, stirring occasionally.
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.
Lower to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
Put 2 ladles of soup in a blender or food mill and purée — careful: it’s hot.
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.
To serve: ladle the leblebi into bowls. Pass a bowl of
Harissa Paste (to taste)
on the side. Serve with warm
Flatbread (to taste)