When I told someone about making Lablabi, a chickpea bread stew from Tunisia, they replied with “What’s a Tunisia?”
Tunisia is a small north African nation situated next to Algeria, Libya and with a lovely Mediterranean Sea view. Lablabi is a traditional and popular dish. I am in love with chickpeas, so this was perfect to make. Normally served with eggs and over stale bread, I opted instead to serve in a sourdough bread bowl (and obviously, no egg). The recipe is traditionally served with harissa, but I didn’t have the ingredients so opted not to make it. You can use day-old bread and place at bottom of bowl before ladling stew over – it adds texture and flavor to the soup.
I pureed a 1/3 of the chickpea stew for a smoother texture but that is optional. This was good the next day, cold.
In a medium sized saucepan, cook over medium heat the olive oil, garlic, carrots, and onion. Cover for 10 minutes or until onions start becoming translucent. When the onions start getting soft, add the cumin, paprika, and salt.
In a separate pot, add chickpeas. Add enough water such that there is approximately 1.5' above the chickpeas. Bring to boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes on medium heat. Monitor so that water is not lost.
When chickpeas are cooked through and soft, add the garlic, carrots, and onion to the pot.
Optional but encouraged: Remove 1/3 of the soup mixture and puree in food processor or blender, then add back to soup mixture.
Add water if consistency is not to your liking. Add salt until taste is to your liking. Before placing in bread bowl, add lemon juice and mix.