Serious Eats: Recipes

Healthy & Delicious: Moroccan-Style Chickpea Soup

Editor's note: On Mondays, Kristen Swensson of Cheap, Healthy, Good swings by these parts to share healthy and delicious recipes with us. Take it away, Kristen!

[Photograph: Kristen Swensson]

The best part about living in my neighborhood is the monster variety of fantastic international foods. Within a few blocks of my apartment are Colombian, Italian, Australian, Ethiopian, Japanese, and Mexican restaurants, not to mention scads of Arab grocers. If you've ever craved a fava bean and meatball enchilada with a pint of Guinness, my part of Brooklyn is the place to be.

One of my favorite local joints is a Middle Eastern pita shop serving the best hummus and merguez this side of the Atlantic. They do a few stews, as well, including a lovely Harira soup. Packed with chickpeas and lentils, it's a Moroccan dish traditionally served during Ramadan, though I would eat it any holiday.

I was craving that particular fare recently, and wanted to see if a quick, reasonable facsimile could be created at home. Fortunately, Cook's Illustrated Best 30-Minute Recipe includes a recipe for Moroccan-Style Chickpea soup that seemed to fit the bill. Bonus: all the ingredients were already in my pantry.

A half-hour later, dinner was served. Lacking both meat and lentils, the result wasn't an authentic Harira soup, but it was close enough. Bowls received thumbs-up all around, thanks to the saffron-infused broth and bursts of fresh lemon and cilantro. It's even better paired with fresh-baked pita bread.

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