Recipe: Tunisian Breakfast Soup

JILL DUPLEIX
Last updated 05:00 05/05/2012
soup
MARINA OLIPHANT
HEARTY AND HEALTHY: Tunisian breakfast soup with greens.

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All your life, people have told you to eat your veges - and it's not going to stop any time soon, as good meat is becoming increasingly expensive.

Here are five commonsense ways to adjust the balance and get a few more vegetables into your everyday eating.

1. Don't hide vegetables away in the back of the crisper. Keep them centre stage where you can see them, where they demand to be noticed and used.

2. Never throw anything out. If you have leftover onions, root vegetables, pumpkin or green beans at the end of the week, then celebrate with a great big veggie roast dinner, or toss them all into a soup with your choice of grains or pulses - lentils, beans or barley.

3. Serve vegetables with vegetables. Top sweet potato frittata with pan-roasted mushrooms, or make pesto and relishes with rocket leaves, warrigal greens or spinach, to use as a dressing for roast vegetables, fish and egg dishes.

4.When in doubt, add peas. Frozen peas are an almost instant resource, turning everything from omelets to a plain piece of fish into something interesting. Whiz to a puree with a touch of butter, or add green peas and mint leaves to a rocket salad.

5. Don't save vegetables for when you're being ''good''. Make them so delicious you want them at any time of day, including breakfast. Try baked eggs with sweet red peppers, corn and zucchini fritters, or this Tunisian chickpea and silverbeet soup, topped with boiled eggs.

TUNISIAN BREAKFAST SOUP WITH GREENS

Serves 4

A hearty, head-spinning, soupy stew based on Tunisian leblebi. I make it with silverbeet because I love this green, but you can use kale, cavolo nero, English spinach or a mixture. Serve on toast, topped with hard-boiled egg wedges, or a fried or poached egg.

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, grated

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 red capsicum, finely diced

800g chickpeas, drained and rinsed

400g canned tomatoes, chopped

750ml chicken or vegetable stock

Sea salt and pepper

500g silverbeet leaves, washed

2 tbsp harissa paste

4 thick slices sourdough bread

2 hard-boiled eggs, each cut into 6 wedges

1 tbsp salted capers, rinsed

Extra virgin olive oil for serving

2 tbsp coriander leaves

Heat oil in a large pan and cook onion for five minutes until softened. Add garlic, cumin and most of the diced red capsicum and cook for three minutes. Add chickpeas, tomatoes, stock, salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 10 minutes.

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Roughly chop silverbeet leaves and simmer for five minutes until wilted. Add one tablespoon harissa, stirring. Toast or grill the bread and place in the base of each bowl. Add a ladleful of chickpeas, silverbeet and enough broth to thoroughly soak the toast. Top with egg wedges, capers, remaining harissa and red capsicum. Finish with extra pepper, olive oil and coriander leaves and serve.

-Sydney Morning Herald

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