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Tunisian Leblebi

This Mediterranean dish features harissa -- a blend of chile paste and spices; chopped dried chiles can be used instead.

  • Servings: 4

Source: Martha Stewart Living, April 1996


  • 1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas (10 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon harissa, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced Lebanese-Style Pickled Turnips
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
  • 3 1/2 ounces canned, solid, water-packed white tuna, drained and flaked
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions (white and light-green parts only)
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Place chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with 2 cups water. Let stand overnight in the refrigerator.

  2. Drain chickpeas. In a stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 5 minutes. Add chickpeas and 5 cups of water. Cover; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until chickpeas begin to soften, about 30 minutes.

  3. Add 1 teaspoon cumin and 1 teaspoon harissa. Cover and simmer until chickpeas are tender, about 45 minutes. Add salt.

  4. Let stand about 1 hour to cool. Transfer half the soup to a blender; blend to a coarse pur? Repeat with remaining soup. Return to stockpot and reheat.

  5. Place capers, turnips, eggs, tuna, remaining harissa, scallions, and lemon in a relish tray or in individual bowls. Serve soup with the assorted condiments.


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