This hearty Middle Eastern-inspired soup is based on a favorite at Garden State Cart. Look for harissa—a fiery North African condiment incorporating chile peppers, tomatoes, and paprika—in tubes and cans at ethnic grocery stores and specialty shops.
4 large leeks (about 2 1/2 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 teaspoons ground cumin
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (19-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 1/2 cups cubed day-old bread (about 6 ounces)
3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
6 teaspoons harissa
How to Make It
Remove roots, outer leaves, and tops from leeks, leaving white and light green parts of each leek. Cut each leek in half lengthwise. Cut each half crosswise into thin slices. Rinse with cold water; drain.
Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks to pan; cook 10 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add cumin and garlic; cook for 1 minute.
Add chicken broth and chickpeas; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in parsley. Place about 2/3 cup bread in each of 6 bowls; ladle about 1 1/3 cups soup over each serving. Combine 3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt and 6 teaspoons harissa in a small bowl. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons yogurt mixture.
We liked this a lot, but I did make a few refinements like adding sun-dried tomato strips, fresh oregano, and using only 4 cups of stock. I also used a crusty, chewy ciabatta loaf--cubed in the morning and let the cubes stand uncovered through the day to dry out a bit, thus eliminating a potential sogginess problem. No harissa in the store, so I made my own from a recipe on the internet--fabulous! 1TB olive oil, 1/2 TB red wine vinegar, 1 TB minced roast red bell pepper, a garlic clove, 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper, and 1 TB cilantro. Absolutely wonderful mixture and so easy! I served this soup with an antipasto platter of greek olives, cucumber and artichoke slices, and some crumbled feta cheese.
I tried this since it was so easy and quick to make. But the flavor was just...bland. It really was nothing special...just chicken broth with leeks in it. When I added the bread, it just made a big soggy goopy mess in the bowl.
However, the yogurt + harissa was delicious and I'll definitely using the leftover of this on my sandwiches at lunc this week!
I too, did not have harissa. used greek yogurt w/thai chile paste, but halved the amount of the paste. For croutons, cubed the bread, browned cubes in a little EVOO, w/salt & pepper. So they were crispy. Sooo yummy! and Easy! 15 and 10 -year olds loved it! even w/ the "spicy" yogurt. don't delete it - like i was going to. Mixed green salad w/candied pecans, pears, gorgonzola. oh yeah.....
I was not sure what to expect with this soup because of the yogurt...but I really loved it. I used Greek yogurt instead of regular yogurt and it added a really nice texture. I could not find harissa at my local grocery store so I used 2 teaspoons of Vietnamese Chili-Garlic Sauce and one teaspoon of paprika instead. I'm not sure what I was missing by not having the harissa...but I really loved the result. The only thing I would change is serving the bread on the side...it was too mushy for my taste. Very tasty:-)
Eat Well. Lose Weight. Live Healthy. Delicious and healthy recipes customized for you!