Warning: This chickpea soup is hot!
I’ve always had recourse to bessara (legume soup) as an antidote for cold weather. Lentil, white bean or split pea soup have always been a staple of our winter dinners. So when I warned that this soup was hot, it was as much for the warming effect it has on the body as it was for its spiciness. It definitely has a bit of a kick. But it’ll still warm you up from head to toe (although to a lesser degree) if you choose to make it mild and leave out the pepper flakes.
I find bessara to taste better the second day, and even better the third and fourth. So don’t hesitate to double or triple the amount of ingredients suggested to make a large pot that will last you for days. With a bit of foresight, it’ll come in handy for those nights when you don’t feel like making dinner. You can simply reheat a bowl and enjoy it with a hunk of country bread or baguette and a wedge of fresh goat cheese, and you’ve got yourself a meal.
Moroccan Chickpea Soup Recipe
4 to 6 servings
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
5 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
1 small potato, peeled and halved
1 small red onion, yellow onion or leek, peeled and halved
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 bay leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
Lemon juice and paprika for serving (optional)
Place all of the ingredients in a soup pot over medium heat. Cover with a lid and cook, 20 to 30 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Blend the soup into a puree using a stick or a container blender.
Serve warm with a generous squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of paprika. Refrigerate leftovers for up to a week.