This month's new recipe came about because I had bought some merguez (north African lamb sausage) and, after a couple of merguez sandwiches, wanted something else to do with it. It worked well but, frankly, the soup would be just as good in a vegetarian version without the merguez.
For 4 servings:
1 c. dried chick peas
1 small head fennel, diced
1/2 c. diced onion (1 smallish onion or you can cheat as I do and buy pre-diced frozen onions)
5 cloves crushed garlic (again, you can use the jarred pre-crushed sort to save time)
2 T. olive oil
4 c. chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
1 T. lemon zest
1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice (I probably used more, since I didn't measure)
salt and black pepper to taste
1 tsp Spanish paprika
2- 3 oz links merguez
1. Soak chickpeas in water overnight and drain well
2. Heat olive oil in a 4 qt. saucepan over medium eat. Add fennel, onion and garlic and, stirring frequently, cook them until they sweat but do not brown (about 2-3 minutes) Add the drained chickpeas and stir well, cooking for another 2 minutes. Add the stock.
3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until chick peas are soft (about an hour) adding more stock (or water) if needed.
4. Meanwhile, cook the merguez links. You can sautee them in olive oil, bake them in a 350 degree overn for about 7 minutes or microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. Let cool a few minutes and dice..
5. When the chickpeas are well cooked, add lemon zest, lemon juice and spices. The actual recipe called for pureeing the mixture but I didn't bother and was happy with the result. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the diced merguez