Moroccan Chickpea Soup

"From the cookbook Mediterranean Light by Martha Rose Shulman. Martha compares this soup more closely to an Indian curry unlike its milder European cousin. I sometimes substitute lamb stock for the water which gives the soup even more richness. If you choose to use lamb stock you'll probably want a soothing cup of mint tea later. Harissa is prepared easily and cheaply at home and there are several good recipes for it on this site."
photo by Annacia photo by Annacia
photo by Annacia
Ready In:
1hr 15mins




  • Soak the dried chickpeas overnight and drain or if using canned chickpeas, rinse and drain thoroughly.
  • Combine the chickpeas with all the other ingredients except the salt, lemon juice, and cilantro and bring to an almost boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer partially covered, for 1 1/2 hours, until the beans are tender, less time if using canned chickpeas. Add salt to taste.
  • Remove 2 cups of the soup mixture and puree in a blender, return to the pot and mix well.
  • (Or use an immersion blender to facilitate.).
  • Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice and garnish with fresh cilantro.
  • Adjust seasonings.
  • The soup will keep in refrigerator 3 to 5 days.
  • Freezes well.

Questions & Replies

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  1. joanna_giselle
    I absolutely loved this soup! I didn't add harissa but rather some dashes of tabasco sauce into my own bowl and I thought the kick it added was wonderful as well as the lemon juice. I also put in 2 tablespoons of olive oil to add body to the soup a little ground coriander as I can't get fresh. Unfortunately my hubby and kids didn't like it at all (they are not fans of Moroccan cuisine) so I will have to give it 4 stars overall. Thanks for the recipe.
  2. Chef Kate
    When I first reviewed this recipe back in 2005, I pureed the whole potful. This time I didn't puree any of it (yet) I used dried chickpeas, homemade vegetable stock and water in equal amounts. No harissa or cayenne--but a bit of a spice mix of UmmBinat's that just smelled right for this soup. I ate a bowl of it last night--with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkling of freshly chopped cilantro and a nice hit of Sriracha. It was really delicious and it just tasted so healthy. I have portion sized containers in the freezer now-I'll try pureeing a small amount of the chickpeas when I have it next. I would note that if you use dried chickpeas and all water or homemade stock, you'll need to add more salt, as the canned chickpeas have a fair amount of sodium.
  3. UmmBinat
    4 1/2 stars good. I used Betty Crocker homemade chicken stock, the cayenne in a lesser amount per preference, canned chickpeas and yellow potato as that is what I had on hand. Made for Ramadan Tag 2010.
  4. Annacia
    Really delicious. I used a Yukon Gold potato and skipped the tomato paste for personal taste and subbed Ras elHanout for the harissa (because I didn't have any). The end result was that I got a lovely golden soup that is a pure pleasure. I made a 2 serving amount and I'm sure that I have enough soup for 6! YAY, leftovers to meld and be even better tomorrow. Oh yes, and I used veggie stock.
  5. chef Yasoda



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