When I was a kid my mother used to make this hummus (chickpea) soup on a weekly basis during the winter. It never snowed in the Negev, the desert of Israel, but it did get bone-chillingly cold. I’ve always said that winter is easier in New York than in the Negev because at least in New York every crappy apartment has proper heating. I miss those loud clanging radiators. In my hometown no one had a heating system. Just those lousy electric spiral heaters that you couldn’t leave without supervision; they were dangerous and expensive. To keep us warm, my mother made us wear many layers, drink sheeba* (Artemisia) tea, and this wonderful hearty soup. I love its thickness and how it fills the house with aromatic steam.
*Moroccans drink mint tea in the summer to keep them cool and sheeba tea in the winter to keep them warm.
– My mother sometimes adds a large beef bone.
-I added Jerusalem artichokes and coriander seeds to the recipe for extra flavor and thickness.
Chickpea & Jerusalem Artichoke soup
- 2 tablespoons avocado or vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed – optional
- 2 inch (4cm) turmeric root – or 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 4 celery stalks, chopped
- 5 Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes), peeled and sliced – optional
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 cups soaked small chickpeas* – or cooked or canned
- 1 cup cilantro, chopped roughly
- 2-4 small pieces preserved lemons – or squeeze ½ lemon in
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Put the avocado oil in a soup pot over high heat. Add the onion and saute for 3-5 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander seeds and grate the turmeric straight in.
- Add the celery, Jerusalem artichokes, carrots, chickpeas and cilantro. Add about 8 cups of water and bring into a boil. Boil for 10 minutes then lower the heat to simmer. Cover partially and cook for about 1 hour or until the chickpeas are tender. If you’re using cooked chickpeas see note.
- Pour in the olive oil, sprinkle salt and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes.
- Mash the soup with a potato masher or use a hand blender to blitz some of it. It should be half smooth and half chunky. Garnish with cilantro, preserved lemons (or with a wedge of lemon on the side) and a few drops of olive oil.