This style of spicy chickpea soup happens to be popular across North Africa, including Libya. Ideally, you would order it at restaurant in Benghazi. But, I won’t judge if you chicken out and make it at home.
1 small onion, diced
2 carrots, chopped
4 celery ribs, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 small (16 ounce) cans of chickpeas, rinsed and strained
1 small (16 ounce) can of chopped tomatoes
2 pints of chicken stock
Juice of ½ of a lemon
Lemon zest from said lemon
½ teaspoon of fresh ginger, minced
¼ teaspoon of ground cumin
½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
¼ cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
Hot pepper sauce – as much as you can handle
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Additional extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
Heat the olive oil in a medium sized (4 quart) pot on medium heat. Sweat the onions, carrots, celery, bell pepper and garlic for 5 minutes. Then, add the cumin and cinnamon and stir for 30 seconds to incorporate the spices.
Next, add the chickpeas, tomatoes, chicken stock, lemon zest, ginger and hot pepper sauce. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
Before serving, add the fresh lemon juice and cilantro. Taste test and season with salt and more hot pepper sauce if you like. When serving, I encourage you to drizzle each bowl with a bit of extra virgin olive oil.