I'll post something non-food-related next, I promise! I'm still trying to get back in the habit of writing anything - it's amazing how you lose the flow of writing and any sort of agility or fluidity with phrasing when you've basically done no written work at all for as long as I have...
Tunisian turkey soup
2 tins chickpeas (rinsed and drained a couple of times to kill the weird smell they get when tinned)
1 litre chicken stock
2 tins diced tomatoes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp harissa (North African chilli paste, you should be able to get it at any deli which does Moroccan or middle eastern stuff. It comes in a WIDE variety of heat levels and spice combinations, so shop around til you find one you like)
1 medium onion, chopped
approx 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves (if you're using that stuff that comes in the tube, you might want to use a little less because it's pretty concentrated)
500gm cooked turkey, chopped quite fine (Christmas leftovers are perfect, but if you don't have any, just dice whatever cut of turkey you can find, stirfry til no longer pink in a little olive oil, then chop it finely after it cools. It's ok if there's still a bit of fat or skin on)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Heat some olive oil in a heavy pot over a medium flame. Chuck in the onion, fry until they soften. Shouldn't take long. Add the garlic, give it another minute. Add the cumin and harissa, give it another minute, stirring well so the spices don't stick. Throw in all the tomatoes, stock, chickpeas and water. Cover, increase the heat to high. Once it boils, reduce the heat to low and let it just slowly simmer away for about half an hour. Go do the gardening or something, you lazy bludger, I'm sure there's weeds you need to get rid of.
Take the pot off the heat, pour half of the soup into a mixing bowl (all the chickpeas and tomatoes will sink to the bottom, try to get half of them as well). Blend half until smooth, then pour it all back in the pot together with the unblended stuff. Return the pot to the heat, add the turkey, cook until the turkey is warmed through. When it is, stir the coriander in, give it about another minute, then dish up. Serve topped with a spoonful of natural yoghurt (if the yoghurt is set, stir it up to make it more liquidy first). If you're going for presentation as well as taste, sprinkle a few random coriander leaves on top.
Serves: Lots. probably 4? Depending on how greedy you are. It freezes well though, so you can brew up a big vat and save it for reheating later (don't put the yoghurt in if you're going to freeze it obviously - just do that before serving!)
Difficulty: Very very easy. Take it down a notch to merely very easy if you don't have leftover turkey sitting around and have to cook some specially. Probably the hardest thing about this recipe is finding a good harissa!
Kitchen Mess Factor: One pot, one mixing bowl, blender. No stress at all.
Date-impressing quotient: Probably pretty reasonable. It's a really tasty, warming, spicy sort of dish (it'd actually be a great winter meal, but leftover turkey is much easier to come by around this time of year when it's summer - northern hemisphere people might have more luck!) and with a nice drizzle of yoghurt and a sprinkle of fresh coriander it looks pretty special too.
Cost: Everything is extremely cheap except the turkey! Post-christmas turkey sales are the way to go...