Red Pepper soup with bulgur, chickpeas, mint and chile
7 oz dried chickpeas
¼ cup olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 long red pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 long red chile, seeded and finely chopped
1 tsp dried mint
1 tablespoon pekmez (grape molasses found in specialty food stores)
14 oz can chopped tomatoes
1 ½ quarts vegetable stock or water
3 oz coarse bulgur
½ cup shredded mint leaves
¼ tsp hot paprika
juice of ½ lemon
Soak the chickpeas overnight in plenty of cold water
Heat the oil in a large, saucepan. Sauté the onion, pepper chile and mint over a low heat for 5-8 minutes until softened. Add the pekmez and sauté for another minute.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add to the pan with tomatoes and stock. Bring to boil and then lower heat and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes. Add the bulgur with the remaining liquid and simmer, covered, for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When ready to serve, stir in the shredded mint, paprika and lemon juice. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and serve hot.