Leblebi - Tunisian Chickpea Soup

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“I was watching a traveling show and they were showing a brief section on street food of Tunisia, I saw this been served up and immediately was entranced by this ancient dish served for men at breakfast eaten outdoors. There are not many recipes out there but I managed to track this one down from this web site., it was original sourced from Paula Wolfert's Slow Mediterranean Kitchen. The chick peas are a pain to peel but if you love traditional hearty breakfast fare without the meat, the pain is rewarded! DO NOT USE CANNED CHICK PEAS!”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. To make the chickpeas, preheat the oven to 115°. Put the soaked prepared chickpeas, stock, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, and extra water to cover the peas by 1", if necessary, into a heavy lidded pot or casserole pot. Bring to a boil, cover and put in oven for about 3 hours, or until fully cooked and silky. Now, you can keep going, or store the soup in the fridge for a day or two, until you're ready to go. When you are ready you can make it all (serves 8) or a bit now, and more later. If you have refrigerated it, you can easily remove the fat from the top.
  2. When you are ready to eat, reheat the chickpeas in their liquid, while you prepare the eggs. Fill a bowl with ice water. For each bowl of soup, put one egg in a pan of not quite boiling water. Cover pan and turn off the heat. After 6 minutes, slip the eggs into the ice water to cool. Once they ar cool, peel them carefully, leaving the medium cooked eggs whole. This is a little bit fidlely but worth the effort after coming so far, or a runny boiled/fried egg can do the job too!
  3. Put some stale bread in the bottom of each bowl, and cover with a portion of chickpeas and their cooking liquid. Set an egg on top of each bowl, and cut it so that the yolk runs. Dribble some harissa sauce over each and sprinkle with cumin and freshly ground pepper. Top with olives, capers, and diced bell pepper. Dribble on a bit of olive oil, and squeeze the lemon wedge over all.
  4. This is a satisfying, belly-warming, invigorating soup, to cure you if you are both tired and hungry. But don't substitute for those chickpeas!
  5. Serve with a Sangiovese.

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