Lablabi (Tunisian Chickpea Soup) From 'The Heart of the Plate'
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.