Tunisian Spiced Tomato Chickpea Soup

Tunisian Chickpea Soup

For better or worse, having a dog forces me to get out into weather I may not otherwise go out in. Today I’m grateful for that.

Did you know that Vancouver has a magic hour on rainy days? It does.

The catch is you gotta be willing to venture out in it.

It happens about an hour after sunset. It’s still light enough to make out the outline of the Downtown skyline and the neighborhoods’ West Vancouver. Yet, it’s dark enough that heavy sheets of rain blur out the lights. Each little light, a TV screen of thousands of private stories, all muted like lighted candles in a smoky bar. Then there’s the layers of sound-the lapping of the waves, car tires speeding through wet pavement and the staccato of each drop smacking the hood of my raincoat. The darkness provides privacy and the orchestra a soundtrack. It feels comforting and peaceful. I love the rain.

There’s the smell of salt, sea, and the vestige of hot oil coming from the local pub. And of course, there’s the added bonus of the smell of wet dog. I’m not in a rush to get home even though I’m wet to my toes. I just want to take it all in. After all, I’m just a visitor here.

Strangely, this darkness, the smell of rain and ocean and the feel of wet sand under my boots make me crave soup; a thick and hardy soup made of tomatoes, garlic and chickpeas.

Tunisian Spiced Chickpea Soup

Soup can be simple or really involved. I’m going to keep it simple tonight. Start with big ol’ chunks of onion, several minced garlic cloves cooked in olive oil until translucent. Then add the spices, stirred for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add diced tomatoes, their juice, some stock and cooked chickpeas. Dinner is served. Pass the bread!

Tunisian Chickpea Soup

 

Tunisian Spiced Tomato Chickpea Soup
Inspired by an upcoming stew recipe I was lucky enough to try during a workshop with Tara O'Brady. The recipe for that can be found in the new Seven Spoons cookbook being released in April 2015
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Ingredients
  1. 2 Tbsp Olive oil
  2. 1 Onion chopped into 1 inch chucks
  3. 3 garlic cloves minced
  4. 1 tsp. each ground cumin and ground coriander
  5. 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  6. 1/4 tsp. each red chili flakes and cinnamon
  7. 1x 796 ml or 28 fl.oz can of diced tomatoes
  8. 1 1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas (approx. 1 can drained and rinsed)
  9. 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (water with a little salt will work too)
  10. 2 tsp. honey or brown sugar
  11. 1 star anise
  12. 1-2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, to taste
  13. salt and pepper to taste
  14. Optional garnishes are chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, chopped almonds, raisins or diced dates.
Instructions
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, add the oil, onions and garlic. Cook until the onions become translucent.
  2. Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, chili flakes and cinnamon. Stir until fragrant, approximately 30 seconds.
  3. Add the tomatoes and juice, drained chickpeas, stock, honey or brown sugar and the star anise.
  4. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for 25 minutes. Squeeze in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
Notes
  1. The amounts can be quite flexible so make it your own. Bulk it up by adding chopped carrots, potatoes or turnips. Like it spicier? Add some more heat. Do you have preserved lemon in your fridge? Add 1 Tbsp. of diced preserved lemon peel (pith removed) to the soup to add another dimension.
The Restless Palate http://restlesspalate.com/
Tunisian Chickpea Soup

Tunisian Chickpea Soup 

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10 Responses to Tunisian Spiced Tomato Chickpea Soup

  1. Laureen Fox November 3, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

    OMG, France this new website is gorgeous! I’m weeping tears of joy for you…or is it just that I’m caught in the same Vancouver rainfall?

    The soup looks fabulous and I just made some fresh veggie stock, so I can try it asap. I even have some star anis on hand just waiting for a recipe to come along.

    Congrats on the new site. Anticipating many beautiful and fun things from your restless palate.

    — Laureen

    • France Morissette November 13, 2014 at 10:11 am #

      Oh Laureen! Thank you. I hope you enjoy the soup as much as I enjoyed your company recently!

  2. Tina November 3, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

    Hey Babe! I absolutely love the new look, the new name and looking forward to trying the new recipe… There is a problem though, I can’t get star anise here in the far North – will the recipe really lose out with out it or do you think I should give it a go with out?

    Welcome back! Big hugs!!!

    • France Morissette November 13, 2014 at 10:09 am #

      Hello darling! No I don’t think so. The anise is lovely of course and you could order it on amazon but I’d simply up the amount of cinnamon by 1/4 tsp or so. It won’t be the same but it WILL be delicious.

  3. Koko November 4, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

    Could this be!? You’re making me miss even the vancouver rain!? I’ve been away for over 10 months…I think it’s nearly time to come home.

    I love this soup! I imagine it perfect for a drizzly Vancouver day. Such great flavours and spices used!

    • France Morissette November 13, 2014 at 10:11 am #

      If and when you make it back to Canader Land, let me know. I’m in and out of Vancouver a lot. Love to have coffee sometime.

  4. Colleen Dondero November 17, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

    So glad to get your email as you have been sorely missed.
    Welcome back into my mailbox!
    Happy Holidays to you and your family

    • France Morissette November 20, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

      Thank you for the warm welcome back Colleen. Happy to be at it again!

  5. Lisa November 18, 2014 at 9:02 am #

    The new site is BEAUTIFUL!!! Gorgeous!! (and now I want to make some soup!)

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