This hearty soup, made from the kinds of basic grains and legumes every Tunisian housewife has in her larder, is remarkably easy to put together. The seasonings, added at the end of the cooking time, give the soup depth.
1 cup dried chickpeas (6 ounces), soaked overnight and drained
3/4 cup coarse bulgur (5 ounces), rinsed
1 cup small dried split fava beans (6 ounces)
2 quarts water
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon harissa (look at note below)
1 tablespoon tabil (look at note below)
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
3 garlic cloves, minced
In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the chickpeas, bulgur, favas, water and 1 cup of olive oil and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas and fava beans are completely broken down, about 4 hours. Stir in the tomato paste, harissa, tabil, paprika and garlic and simmer for 5 minutes longer. Season with salt and serve, passing extra olive oil at the table.
Note: Harissa is a Tunisian hot chilli sauce commonly eaten in North Africa. Tabil is a Tunisian spice mixture consisting of ground coriander seed, caraway seed, garlic powder, and chili powder. The term can also refer to coriander by itself. You can find these pre-made in most Kosher Grocery stores.
Contributed by Nancy Harmon Jenkins