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North African Chickpea Soup

Traditional North African seasonings, including cumin, turmeric and cayenne, give a flavor boost to this hearty soup.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 cans (each 14 1/2 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 small zucchini, chopped
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Sauté the vegetables
In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the 2 Tbs. oil. When it is hot, add the carrot and onion and sauté until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato, bell pepper, the 1 tsp. salt, the cumin, turmeric and cayenne. Sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Finish the soup
Add the chickpeas, zucchini and broth. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the zucchini is tender and the flavors are blended, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls, drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Soup, by Georgeanne Brennan (Oxmoor House, 2006).