chickpea soup

Moroccan Chickpea Soup Recipe. Gluten-Free

Chickpea Soup

Much dreamier than the sum of its modest parts. Nowhere near as plebeian as its ingredients suggests. Especially when you make chickpea soup, as I do, with all our wonderful Moroccan seasonings. The French term for chickpea is “pois chiches,” meaning something like pea’s poor relatives. Wow, if poor and modest could always taste like this chickpea soup (I for one think it always does), just give it to me! So many hummus joints have recently sprouted all over the city: chickpea spreads with all the fixings. But has anyone thought, as I did, about a liquid version? And completely vegetarian to boot? Rah-rah! By the way, chickpea soup is not entirely my invention, as we grew up with chickpea soup at home made with meat and served as a whole dinner.

My Chickpea Soup rated on TV!

This meatless and no-less-delicious version is entirely my idea, So I do get credit for this hybrid soup. And I am so proud of it I made it on a recent CBS morning show segment I was invited to. My plan was to knock their socks off with something very plebeian that tastes marvelous, and it worked beyond my expectations:

Talk about gastronomy sans argent!

Is it any wonder that Moroccan food is my first and most lasting culinary love?

Dry Chickpeas Only Please!

The only steak you need to take for the making of this soup is too soak the chickpeas. And then the rest is, all aboard in a pot and you’re there! So, need I ask? Don’t just open a can of chickpeas, and hope to get the luscious soup I am getting here with dried chickpeas, making the soup from scratch. To begin with, it is ridiculously low maintenance and costs pennies, so show it some love and soak this chickpeas!



  • 1 pound dry chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
  • 12 large cloves garlic
  • ½ cup tehina (sesame paste)
  • 1 large bunch cilantro, stems cut off
  • 1 large bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves and stems
  • 6 ribs celery, peeled
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 12 cups (3 quarts) water
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • Ground pepper to taste


Bring all but last 2 ingredients to a boil in a wide-bottom pot. Reduce the flame to medium and cook covered for 2 hours. Add the lemon juice and the pepper. Cream until smooth with an immersion blender. Adjust the texture and seasonings. Makes a dozen ample servings.

4 replies
  1. Diane
    Diane says:

    How necessary is the cilantro? I won’t use it, so I’m trying to decide if I should go ahead and make the recipe without it. Thanks!

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Diane, here I would say, the list of ingredients is very short, and every one of them plays a vital part. My bet is, it won’t be nearly as interesting and intriguing. That said, it is your soup, and if you would like to try without, the risk you take is pennies. It certainly will be good enough to eat. Please try to discard all the stems and keep only the leaves, then cilantro might grow on you:-)))

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Harry yup, soup with meat was our dinner almost every night. I would do the exact same recipe, grinding the celery, cilantro, parsley, garlic in a food processor, and adding a nice (about 3 pound) chunk of meat at the very beginning of cooking (London Broil is great. Cook until the chickpeas and the meat are very tender (it might take a little longer than two hours for the meat). And don’t blend. The meat will fall apart, like pulled beef.

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