I hate cleanup almost more than I love cooking. There is no greater buzz kill than a full sink. Which means that without a dishwasher (or a husband, either will do), most days my kitchen experiments would be dead in the water. For years, we lived in a beautiful San Francisco apartment that I loved in every way, except that it had no dishwasher. So although it was perfectly located, filled with natural light, and brimming with extra closet space, my joy was incomplete. The solution came in the form of that miracle wonder: the one pot meal.
This soup is perfect for those of you who love one pot meals as much as I do. (Although, really, is there anyone who doesn’t?) You could call it my idea of what a chicken noodle soup should be – well, there’s no chicken, for one thing. But there’s noodles aplenty, along with my best friend kale and its sometime buddy, the garbanzo bean. There’s also enough heat in the broth to keep those nasal passages clear, if you need any help in that department. I make this whenever I have a cold, and whenever I don’t. This soup doesn’t really need a reason. It’s that good.
Quick tip – the recipe makes a lot of soup, and that usually means leftovers. If you’re like me and don’t jump up and down with excitement over soft, overcooked noodles, do as I do. Make the soup all the way to the point where the noodles need to be added in. Ladle out some of the kale and chickpea brothy goodness for the next day (or week, or month, you can freeze this very easily). Then add enough noodles for tonight’s meal and finish the cooking. The next time you’re craving a taste of Tunisia, pull out the remaining broth, bring to a boil, and add in some more egg noodles. Voila, a fresh batch of soup and none of the work. Life is good.
Spicy Tunisian Soup with Kale and Chickpeas
Recipe adapted from Epicurious
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 pound kale (lacinato or Italian kale is best), stems removed and chopped into ribbons
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
8 cups flavorful vegetable broth or stock
1 to 2 tablespoons harissa or other hot sauce (to taste)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 (14-ounces) can chickpeas, rinsed
4 ounce fine egg noodles
Cook onion, garlic, cumin and salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, about 12 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add stock, harissa, and lemon juice and simmer, covered, 30 minutes.
Add kale and chickpeas with 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer, covered, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the egg noodles and cook another 5 minutes.
Serve with a spoon and fork and slurp.