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Tunisian Tomato Soup With Chickpeas and Lentils
from justcallmetoni

A variation on a Molly Katzen recipe I found on the Internet. Though the spices are quite different, the basic ingredients -- tomatoes, lentils and chickpeas -- remind me of the popular Moroccan soup called harrira. Have not yet tried this one but as fall comes, this will certainly make an appearance in my soup pot.

SERVES 6

  • 1 cup lentils, sorted & rinsed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 7 cups water (more or less)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups minced onions
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed (canned is fine)
  • black pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • currant (optional)
  • plain soy yogurt (optional)
  • parsley, chopped (optional)
  • fresh mint, chopped (optional)

In a large soup pot, place lentils with the cinnamon stick in 7 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick and drain the lentils, reserving the liquid.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a soup pot. Add the onion, garlic, salt, turmeric, cumin seeds, ground cumin, and bay leaves. Saute over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until the onions are soft. If the pot gets a bit dry moisten with some of the reserved lentil water.

Measure out the reserved lentil water and add water to reach 6 cups of liquid and return to soup pot with the spiced cooked onions. Add the canned crushed tomatoes with juice and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, partially cover and cook for another 15 minutes or so.

Stir in the chickpeas and lentils and cook for about 5 minutes to warm through. The legumes should not become mushy.

Season to taste with the two peppers and lemon juice; adjust salt.

Serve hot with some soy yogurt, a sprinkling of parsley or mint, and currants, if desired.