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April 23, 2008

Middle Eastern Chickpea Soup

Humane Society International

The combination of chickpeas, garlic, parsley, mint, and lemon juice is typically Middle Eastern, and makes this velvety soup uncommonly delicious. For more heat, add extra cayenne.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
3 cups vegetable broth
3 cups cooked or 2 (15.5-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 or 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh mint

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cover and cook until the onion softens, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in the bay leaf, cumin, coriander, and turmeric. Cover and cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add the broth and chickpeas. Cover partially and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool. Discard bay leaf.

Process the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan, and season with the salt and cayenne. Add lemon juice to taste. If the soup is too thick, add a little water. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with parsley and mint. Serves 4 to 6.