But now that I am thinking about it, I am very excited to share this soup. I’m a little sad because I don’t feel like I could get a nice enough picture of it, one that really expresses how mouthwatering it was. Alex (she of the hyperbole) declared it “Your Best Soup EVER!!!!” and John and I loved it as well. It is quite unique, defying categorization, although perhaps that is the point of Marcus Samuelsson’s New American Table, from which it was taken. The caraway seeds are a particularly unique and surprisingly tasty touch.
1 cup dried chickpeas
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
salt and pepper to taste
1 medium-large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 t turmeric
1 t ground cumin
1 t mild chili powder (I used medium Penzey’s)
1 t caraway seeds
2 T white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1 cup white wine
1 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
5 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup Israeli couscous
1 T fresh chopped marjoram or 1 t dried (I only had dried)
1 cup plain whole fat Greek yogurt
juice of 1 lemon
2 T chopped parsley
Cook the dried chickpeas until nearly perfectly done, but still a little firm, by whatever method you prefer. I had frozen chicken stock concentrate, so I actually cooked them in part of the chicken stock for the soup.
Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the chicken and brown it for about 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the turmic, ground cumin, chili powder and caraway seeds, and stir evenly coat the chicken. Add the vinegar and white wine and bring to a boil. Simmer briskly for 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Then add the chickpeas and chicken stock (only add the chickpea cooking liquid if you used chicken stock to cook them). Bring the soup to a boil and then let it simmer for 1 hour.
In the meantime, cook the couscous until al dente in a pot of boiling, salted water.
Add the marjoram to the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Turn the heat off and stir in the yogurt, parsley and lemon juice. Taste for more salt or lemon juice. Serve ladled over the couscous.