From Moroccan, Lorenz Books, 1999.
This slim book, 64 pages in all, was a gift a few years back and has always been a favourite though neglected a little lately. However, this night I decided I would cook a Moroccan meal: soup, bread and salad. The weather was hot and I was in the mood for something tasty but reasonably light.
I put about 120g of chickpeas in a bowl and poured boiling water over them. They then went into the microwave for 5 minutes, after which they were left to soak for about an hour. They were then placed in a saucepan and simmered for about another hour at which time they had softened. They were drained and left to cool a little. The skins were now slipped off.
I’m used to taking the skin off broad beans—a rather relaxing task if you’re not in a hurry—but skinning chickpeas was something new. It’s also somewhat pleasing, giving them a little squeeze and popping the inside out of its covering. But there was a lot of chickpeas to do.
Now an onion was chopped and a bunch of parsley. These went into a blender and were processed until quite fine. They went into a saucepan with some oil and were sautéed for a couple of minutes to soften the onion. The chickpeas followed into the pan for one or two more minutes.
Now a litre of water went in and it was all brought to the boil. A vegetarian chicken stock cube was added and the soup was taken back to a simmer and left for about 20 minutes. Salt and pepper were added and a stick blender was used to part puree the soup: I prefer to have some texture.
The juice of half a lemon was added together with a little lemon zest when it was being served.
This was a very tasty soup—and quite moreish. It’s one that I would readily make again, though possibly I might forget about skinning the chickpeas. It is easy enough to do but, for me, not really completely necessary.
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔