This soup is an improved, more complex version of the Moroccan chickpea stew we've been making for years. After the mise en place is done, the execution of the recipe is rather easy. The orzo in this soup gives it a lovely body and texture.
 ground coriander2 tsp
 smoked paprika2 tsp
 ground cumin1 tsp
 ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp
 red pepper flakes 1/8 tsp
 olive oil 1/3 cup
 onion1 large
chopped fine
 celery2 ribs
chopped fine
 garlic5 cloves
 ginger1 tbsp
 cilantro 1/2 cup
 parsley 1/4 cup
 chicken broth4 cups
or vegetable broth for vegan
 water4 cups
 chickpeas1 can
15 ounces, rinsed
 brown lentils1 cup
picked over and rinsed
 crushed tomatoes1 can
28 ounces
 orzo 1/2 cup
 Swiss chard4 oz
cut into 1/2-inch pieces
 lemon juice2 tbsp
 cilantro 1/4 cup
 parsley 1/4 cup
 salt1 tsp
or to taste, use grey salt if available
to taste
 lemon wedges


To prep, measure out the spices and combine them in a small container. Wash and process all the veggies. Rinse and drain the garbanzo beans and lentils.
Preheat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and add the onion and celery once the oil starts to shimmer. Cook and stir frequently for about 7-8 minutes. The veggies should just start to brown at this point. (It's nice to sip on a drink during this step.)
Bring the heat down to medium and add the garlic and ginger. Cook and stir for about 1 minute or until fragrant.
Push the veggies to the perimeter of the pot and add the spice mix to the center. Bloom the spices by mixing over the heat for about 1 minute, then mix the spices into the veggies.
Add the cilantro and parsley. Stir and cook for about 1 minute.
Add the broth, water, chickpeas, and lentils. Increase the heat to high and stir to combine. Once the mixture starts to simmer, drop the heat to medium low. Partially cover the pot and cook for about 20 minutes until the lentils become tender.
Add the tomatoes and orzo. Increase the heat to high again and stir to combine. Once the soup simmers, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, partially covered, for 7 minutes.
Mix in the chard and cook partially covered for about 5 more minutes.
Transfer the pot away from the heat and add lemon juice, cilantro, and parsley (save a few pinches of herbs to garnish individual bowls). Season with salt and pepper.
Top each bowl with some herbs and serve with a lemon wedge on the side. Garnish with harissa if available.

March-April 2018 issue of Cook's Illustrated