Unforgettable Paula Wolfert

Tunisian chickpea soup with soft-cooked eggs and toasted ciabatta

Vegetarian, Dairy Free, Soy Free

2 Servings, 670 Calories/Serving

20 – 30 Minutes

Over her forty-year career, Paula Wolfert crisscrossed the Mediterranean in search of little-known but unforgettably good recipes. This soup is commonly served for breakfast in Tunisia, where it is known as leblebi. Its broth is usually flavored with beef or veal bones. In our quick vegetarian version, the soup gets savory richness from porcini powder. The fun comes from piling on all the garnishes, from briny capers and sweet roasted red peppers to the optional hot chile paste.

Ingredients

  • 2 pasture-raised organic eggs
  • 1 or 2 shallots
  • Peeled fresh garlic
  • 1½ cups cooked chickpeas
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ cup mirepoix (onions - carrots - celery)
  • ½ teaspoon porcini powder
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 ciabatta
  • ¼ cup roasted red peppers
  • ¼ cup Kalamata olives
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek (optional)

Instructions

1

Cook the eggs

Heat the oven to 400ºF.
Bring a small sauce pot of water to a boil, and fill a small bowl with ice water. Carefully lower the eggs into the boiling water and cook for exactly 5 minutes for soft-cooked (for hard-cooked eggs, cook for 3 to 4 minutes longer). Transfer the eggs to the ice water to cool. Carefully peel the eggs.
While the eggs cook, prepare the cumin and the chickpea soup.

2

Toast the cumin and cook the soup

  • Peel and thinly slice the shallots.
  • Thinly slice the garlic.
  • Rinse the chickpeas.
In a medium sauce pot over medium-low heat, toast the cumin, shaking the pot occasionally, until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
In the same pot used for the cumin, warm 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the mirepoix, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the shallots, garlic, and porcini powder and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the chickpeas, vegetable broth, and ½ cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the chickpeas are tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
While the soup simmers, prepare the ciabatta.

3

Toast the ciabatta

  • Tear the ciabatta into 1-inch pieces.
On a sheet pan, spread the ciabatta in an even layer, drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil, and toss to coat. Toast in the oven until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.
When the ciabatta is almost done, prepare the garnishes.

4

Prep the garnishes

  • Scrape off any seeds from the roasted red peppers; thinly slice the peppers.
  • Coarsely chop the olives.
  • Cut the eggs in half lengthwise.
  • Strip the parsley leaves from the stems; coarsely chop the leaves.
  • Cut the lemon into wedges.

5

Serve

Transfer the ciabatta to individual bowls and ladle the chickpea soup on top. Garnish with the roasted red peppers, olives, eggs, and capers. Sprinkle with the cumin, parsley, and as much sambal oelek as you like. Drizzle each bowl with 1 teaspoon oil, if desired. Serve with the lemon wedges.

Nutrition per serving: Calories: 670, Protein: 25g, Total Fat: 27g, Monounsaturated Fat: 18g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 3.5g, Cholesterol: 155mg, Carbohydrates: 80g, Fiber: 13g, Sugar: 7g, Added Sugars: 0g, Sodium: 1250mg
Contains: wheat, eggs

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