Moroccan pea soup with lemon couscous. Culinary blog

Fragrant vegetarian soup with lemon couscous seasoned with fresh mint is the sun, love, summer, translated into the language of cooking. Moroccan cuisine is almost always – it is thick and dense, rich taste and bright color. In this sense, this pea soup is a classic.
We warn those who have never cooked chickpeas: boiling it is a process that stretches for about a day and a half. Therefore, if you have not already found canned chickpeas, then the preparation of such a soup should begin long before the planned serving.
A significant role in the taste of this soup is played by tomatoes. If really ripe and sweet tomatoes can not be found, it is better to use Although the recipe involves the addition of tomato paste to tomatoes, it will not save you from failure when using sad greenish greenhouse tomatoes. So, we proceed:

For soup:

  • olive oil – 2 tablespoons

  • onions – 1 pc., finely chopped

  • garlic – 2 large cloves, minced

  • tomato paste – 2 tbsp. spoons

  • carrots – 2 pcs.

  • salt – 1 tsp

  • ground caraway seeds – 1 teaspoon

  • ground paprika – 1/2 tsp

  • ground cinnamon – 1/2 tsp

  • ground turmeric – 1/4 teaspoon

  • cayenne pepper – 1/8 teaspoon

  • dry white wine – 1/2 cup

  • boiled or canned pea chickpeas – 2 cups

  • vegetable broth – 4 glasses

  • tomatoes – 500 g, cut into cubes; or canned tomato pulp

  • olive oil – 1 tbsp. the spoon

  • lemon juice, freshly squeezed – 1 tbsp. the spoon

  • lemon zest – 1 teaspoon

To decorate the soup:

  1. chopped greens

  2. feta or salted cottage cheese

For lemon couscous:

  • water – 2 glasses

  • lemon juice, freshly squeezed – 1 tbsp. the spoon

  • salt – 1/4 tsp

  • couscous — 1 cup

  • lemon zest – 1/2 tsp

  • fresh mint, finely chopped – a couple of pinches

In a large pot with a thick bottom, heat olive oil over medium heat. In it, fry the onions until transparent. Add garlic, tomato paste, salt, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne pepper and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Pour in white wine and simmer until almost completely evaporated. After that, add finely chopped carrots and boiled peas, laying aside 2-3 tablespoons of peas to decorate the finished soup.

A retreat for those who will use not canned chickpeas (you rarely see it), but will boil the peas on their own. Chickpeas must be soaked and even after that it is cooked for a long time. A small amount of soda added during soaking and boiling speeds up the process. The technology is as follows: pour chickpeas with cold water, adding 1 tsp. soda. Leave on for 24 hours. Then drain the liquid, rinse with running water chickpeas. Put the peas in the pan again, add 1/2 tsp. soda, pour water, cook until tender. The process can take from 1 to 4 hours, depending on which chickpeas you come across. If the liquid has boiled, but the chickpeas have not yet boiled, add hot water and continue cooking.

Let’s go back to the soup: so, the boiled peas are placed in a pot with onions, carrots and spices stewed in wine. Pour the mixture into the vegetable stock and add the diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes.

While the soup is boiling, cook couscous: in a small saucepan, mix the salted water with lemon juice and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat, add couscous and lemon zest. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Shuffle.

Remove the soup from the heat. Lightly work it with a submersible blender so that small pieces are still felt, you do not need to grind to a puree state. Add oil, lemon juice and lemon zest, mix.

Pour the soup into plates, top with a small amount of boiled chickpea on top of each serving. Garnish the soup with finely chopped herbs and, if desired, also with a small amount of feta or salted cottage cheese.

Couscous for soup can be served either in a separate bowl, or by putting several tablespoons directly on top of the soup. Whatever option you choose, sprinkle couscous on top with chopped mint.

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