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Tunisian chickpea and vegetable soup

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Tunisian chickpea and vegetable soup
This hearty chickpea and vegetable soup is flavored with warm spices including saffron, cumin, cinnamon, ground ginger and turmeric. The addition of cilantro, parsley and lemon juice towards the end of cooking adds a fresh herby-citrus taste, while the pasta adds body and texture.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion—finely chopped
1 stick celery—finely chopped
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 zucchini (courgette)—sliced into thin rounds
½ cup red lentils
14 oz (420g) canned tomatoes—chopped
¼ teaspoon saffron strands—soaked in ½ cup boiling water
5½ cups vegetable stock
1 cup canned chickpeas—rinsed and drained
1 ounce capellini (angel-hair) pasta—broken into pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons lemon juice


HEAT the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. COOK the onion and celery for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. ADD the turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. ADD the zucchini, lentils and canned tomatoes and stir to combine. ADD the saffron liquid and stock and bring to the boil. COVER the pot, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 15 minutes. ADD the chickpeas, pasta, cilantro, parsley and lemon juice and cook, covered, for 5 minutes.



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