It has been really cold in Lebanon the last few days and this soup which is sold by cart vendors in Bagdad (Iraq) is hearty and simple to prepare. My Iraqi friend Wafa’ gave me her recipe during her annual visit to Lebanon this past Summer. She said she loves it most with a squeeze of Seville oranges (called bousfeir here )which are in season now. She told me this soup warms the bones and gives strength.
• 1 1/2 cups of dry chickpeas
• 6 cups of chicken stock (homemade)
• 1 tsp. salt (to taste)
• 1 1/2 tsp. of turmeric
• 1 red chili pepper (optional)
• 3 lemons or Seville oranges, quartered
• 1/2 tsp. of baking soda
1. Soak the dry chickpeas with the baking soda overnight in at least 6 cups of water.
2. Drain and place the chickpeas in a pot with the chicken stock, turmeric, and chili pepper; bring to a simmer for at least 45 minutes, skimming the froth until the chickpeas are tender. Salt to taste.
3. Ladle into individual bowls and serve with quartered lemons or Seville oranges to squeeze into the soup.
NOTE: You can use a bouillon cube with water instead of the homemade chicken bouillon.