This thick, stewlike soup is eaten in many countries of the Middle East, often forming the centerpiece of simple peasant 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.
- 2 cups dried chickpeas, picked over, washed, and drained
- 2 medium-sized onions, peeled, and chopped, red, white, or yellow only
- 2 medium-sized boiling potatoes, peeled, and cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 ½ tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
- 3 ¾ teaspoons cayenne pepper
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Soak the chickpeas in 8 cups of water for 12 hours. Drain and rinse thoroughly.
- Put the chickpeas, onions, and 8 cups water into a large pot and bring to a boil. Cover partially, turn heat to low, and simmer gently for 1 hour.
- Add the potatoes, salt, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne, and another ¾ cup water. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on very low heat for another 1½ hour. Stir a few times during this period.
- Check the seasonings. Add the black pepper and lemon juice.
- Stir to mix. Serve hot and plain or with any side dish or appetizer but scoop the chickpea-based soup in a fresh, large, bowl.