SOLIN'S 7-INGREDIENT LABLABI (IRAQI CHICKPEA SOUP)

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SOAK TIME 6-8 HOURS COOK TIME 70 MINUTES YIELDS 6 SERVINGS

To me, lablabi is the best cold weather comfort food there is, and I don't think I'm the only one. This soup is quite popular in Iraq, and it's sold on Baghdad's busiest streets during the winter. When I eat it with family, a hot bowl of lablabi always warms me up and reminds me of Iraq. It's also really simple and easy to make (just chickpeas and a broth), which I think is what makes it the perfect street food. Usually, it's topped with lemon juice or Seville oranges, hot sauce, and ground black pepper. This recipe comes from my grandma.

INGREDIENTS

METRIC

200 grams dry chickpeas

Water, as needed

1 cube vegetable bouillon OR 15 grams allkrydda

5 grams turmeric

Salt, to taste

Lemon juice, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

IMPERIAL

1½ cups dry chickpeas

Water, as needed

1 cube vegetable bouillon OR 1 tablespoon allkrydda

1 teaspoon turmeric

Salt, to taste

Lemon juice, to taste

Black pepper, to taste


NOTE

Due to quarantine limitations, ingredients photographed may not be entirely faithful to those listed. (Don't be afraid to get creative when making this yourself!)


METHOD

PREPARE YOUR CHICKPEAS

Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough water to cover them by 7-8 centimeters. More water is okay, since it will all be discarded later on. Let the chickpeas soak overnight for 6-8 hours.

Once soaked, drain the chickpeas and transfer them to a large pot. Cover them with water by 2-3 centimeters and let them boil on high heat for about 10 minutes. (To bring the water to a quicker boil, you can also heat it in a kettle beforehand.) Scoop away the foam that appears on the surface.

ASSEMBLE YOUR LABLABI

Check your chickpeas for readiness by taking one out and giving it a taste — it should be soft, but not completely cooked. Next, add the vegetable bouillon or allkrydda, turmeric, and salt. Let cook on medium heat for about 1 hour.

Once your chickpeas are cooked and your broth has reached the desired consistency, serve hot. Garnish with a squeeze of lemon juice and a dash of black pepper to make it spicier.


TIP 1

For readers in a hurry, you can forgo the overnight soaking by using boiling water instead of tap water. (Keep in mind that this speeds up the process, but it may still be a few hours before your peas are ready.)


TIP 2

Some cooks like to add a bit of baking soda to the water when soaking their chickpeas, since this helps to “fluff” them out. Solin prefers them without, but the choice is all yours.


TIP 3

For more flavor in your broth, you can boil a few chicken wings to add to your lablabi. (But again, Solin prefers the vegetarian version.)


TIP 4

For traditional Iraqi flavor, Solin recommends using bitter orange/Seville orange juice (نارنج) instead of lemon juice. Either works in a pinch.

ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

SOLIN DHEYAA HASAN SWEDEN

Solin comes from Iraq, but currently lives in Sweden. In her free time, she likes to read books or draw in her sketchbook. Her all-time favorite food is spaghetti, and recently she's been experimenting with new recipes (and combining old ones to make something new). This recipe is one that her grandma usually makes for her and her siblings when the weather is cold. Her grandma is a woman of tradition and culture, and she loves cooking and sharing her recipes with her children and grandchildren.

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