Difficulty: Easy but long cooking time
The chickpea was so popular from Egypt to Morocco that Alonso de Pimentel, the commander of the La Goletta presidio in Tunisia, wrote in 1570, after receiving large shipments of barley and wheat, "what a misfortune that we have been sent no chickpeas!" This simple soup, a favorite today of Algerian dock workers, is healthy, is filling, and has a nice spicy flavor.
Yield: Makes 4 servings
Preparation Time: 1:20 hours
1. In a medium-size saucepan, simmer the chickpeas in water to cover for 1 hour over medium-low heat, to make them more tender. Drain, remove as much of their white skins as possible by rubbing, and set aside.
2. Put the garlic, olive oil, cumin, paprika, harīsa, tomato paste, salt, and black pepper in a stew pot. Turn the heat to medium, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in the water and bring to a boil. Add the chickpeas and cook for 15 minutes.
3. Using a small strainer, remove the chickpeas and puree them in a food processor or blender. Return the puree to the soup and stir to blend into a smooth veloute. Or you can serve the soup with the whole chickpeas.