Chickpea Soup with Moghrabieh (Lebanese Couscous)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon chilli powder or cayenne
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- generous pinch saffron, lightly crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
- 3 cups cooked chickpeas (or 2 cans, drained and rinsed)
- 8-10 cups vegetable broth (or water plus bouillon)
- 1/4 cup moghrabieh or substitute (see above)
- salt to taste
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Spray a large saucepan with olive oil spray and heat it. Add the onion, celery, and carrot and cook over medium-high heat until the onion begins to brown (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the spices, including bay leaves and cinnamon stick, and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the chickpeas and stir to coat them with the spices. Pour in the 8 cups of vegetable stock, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer for 10 minutes. Add salt to taste.
Add the moghrabieh and cover and cook until it is tender, about 25 minutes. Check frequently to see if it is becoming dry and add broth as needed. Just before serving, stir in the parsley and lemon juice.
Makes about 6-8 servings.