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This thick, stewlike soup is eaten in many countries of the Middle East, often forming the centerpiece of simple meals. Salads, bread, and yogurt dishes are served on the side. Although soaked chickpeas are generally tender enough to eat after an hour of cooking, it is important here that they cook longer. This way the Chickpeas themselves get somewhat softer, the liquid thickens considerably, and the soup develops a cohesion that it would otherwise lack.

It might be a good idea to taste the soup before putting in the lemon juice. Chickpea broth has a natural sweetness that you may prefer to leave untouched.



  1. Soak the chickpeas in 8 cups of water for 12 hours. Drain and rinse thoroughly.
  2. Put the chickpeas, onions, and 8 cups of water into a large pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Cover partially, turn heat to low, and simmer gently for 1 hour.
  4. Add the potatoes, salt, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne, and another ¾ cup water.
  5. Bring to a boil.
  6. Cover and simmer on very low heat for another 1½ hour. Stir a few times during this period.
  7. Check the seasonings. Add the black pepper and lemon juice.
  8. Stir to mix before serving.