Thursday, December 28, 2017

Fumbling Toward Culinary Talent: Makeshift Lablabi

I got this base recipe from the January-February issue of Christopher Kimball's Milk Street Magazine, but I had to improvise because my grocery store doesn't carry harissa or dry chickpeas. Walmart might have those items, but I hate going to Walmart. 

So instead of using harissa, which I'm going to order by the way, I used Sambal Oelek. That chili pepper paste is not Tunisian (it's Asian), but it's the closest thing I had. I also didn't have capers, and I forgot to chop green olives, so I need to get my @#$% together when I have leftovers tomorrow. 

Anyway, here's the recipe. I also used a lime for serving just because I like limes better than lemons 

Olive oil
1 onion, chopped finely
2 shallots, chopped finely
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
4-6 tablespoons of harissa or Sambal Oelek
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 tablespoons of ground cumin
2 quarts of chicken stock
2 cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

For serving
Croutons, homemade or store-bought
Wedge of lime
Wedge of lemon
Small handful of cilantro, chopped
Small handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
Hard-boiled eggs, halved or quartered
Chopped green olives
Capers to suit

Coat a Dutch oven with olive oil, heat the oven to medium, and sweat down the onions and shallots. Once they are soft, dump in the garlic and cook it for less than a minute. Put in the tomato paste and cook for approximately five minutes. Add in the chili paste and cumin and cook for a few minutes. 

Add the chicken stock and heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add the chickpeas and simmer for 5-10 minutes. 

When serving, put the croutons in the bottom of the bowl, ladle the soup over the bread, and top with a couple of hard-boiled eggs. Sprinkle capers, olives, cilantro, and parsley atop the soup and then squeeze the lime and lemon on top of the soup.

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