In her new cookbook, The Heart of the Plate, Mollie Katzen shares many recipes for vegetarian soups and stews. None are as beguilingly simple as her version of Tunisian lablabi, a straightforward chickpea soup. Mostly chickpeas and their cooking liquid, the soup is accented by a sautéed onion, a bit of ground cumin, minced garlic, and a few squeezes of lemon juice. You won't even need a shopping list.
Why I picked this recipe: Bean soups are some of my favorite fall dishes, and the ease of this particular soup was too tempting to pass up.
What worked: Cumin, chickpeas, and lemon are seen together for a reason—each brings out the best in the other.
What didn't: I ended up needing to thin out the soup with extra water once the chickpeas were cooked. As written, it bordered on a stew, or even saucy beans.
Suggested tweaks: Dress the soup up as much as you'd like. A poached egg is delightful, as is a squeeze of harissa.
About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American, KQED's Bay Area Bites, and Berkeleyside NOSH. Follow her @KateHWiliams.