One-Pot Wonders

Spicy Moroccan Chickpea Soup

January  3, 2013
0 Ratings
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

Awhile ago when I was down and out with a cold, Alex (the boy in boymeetsgirlmeetsfood) made this delicious chickpea soup to help me out. The chickpeas give the soup some heft, while the spices keep it lively. We used Trader Joe's fire-roasted tomatoes for some added flavour, but if you can't find them, normal diced tomatoes will be fine too. This remains one of my favourite soups because of its bold flavours, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Note: Since this soup is vegetarian, it freezes really well- it's perfect to keep in stock for a rainy day! —boymeetsgirlmeetsfood

What You'll Need
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 2 large white onions, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, more or less depending on personal preference
  • 6 splashes olive oil, more for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 3 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 dash cinnamon
  • 2 serrano chilies
  • 2 zucchinis, chopped
  • 30 ounces chickpeas (two cans), drained
  • 1 can Trader Joe's fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 32 ounces vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 pinch grated lemon zest
  • 1 handful freshly chopped cilantro
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1.5 cups baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons yogurt (garnish)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder (garnish)
  • 1 handful chopped cilantro (garnish)
  • 1 handful chopped spring onions (garnish)
  1. Add diced celery and onions to a large stock pot, over low to medium heat.
  2. Next, add the minced garlic cloves. Add the olive oil, turn the heat up to medium-high, and sauté until the veggies are softened; also add plenty of cracked pepper to taste.
  3. Then spice the mixture, using the cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, paprika and cinnamon. Finely chop the two serrano chilies (scrape out the seeds if you want less heat) and throw these in as well. Once the spices were added, the mixture will start to boil and achieve a beautiful reddish-orange colour. Stir frequently so that the spices don't burn, for a minute or two.
  4. Add the drained chickpeas, tomatoes and stock- our stock was frozen so we had to let it melt over the course of about eight minutes. The soup will be very watery at this point, but don't worry! It thickens up over the course of cooking. Also add the grated lemon zest at this point, it really brightens up the dish. The soup should remain over medium to high heat, and be allowed to boil.
  5. After about ten minutes, the soup should start to boil, and the water will evaporate. Continue to stir the soup so that the contents don't stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.
  6. Five minutes into boiling, we added the handful of freshly chopped cilantro, along with a bay leaf and the zucchini. Don't add the zucchini any earlier than this, otherwise it will break down. At this point, also lower the heat so that the soup is simply simmering.
  7. Let the soup cook down for another thirty minutes (this is the perfect time to do some dishes and clean up!). Use a flat, hard spatula to flatten some of the chickpeas- they breakdown and thicken up the soup a bit. Continue to stir.
  8. Three minutes before serving, add the 1.5 cup of baby spinach to the soup and stir. Add it any earlier and the spinach will disintegrate.
  9. Right before serving, mix together the yogurt and cayenne to make a spicy yogurt drizzle. Spoon the soup into each bowl, top with the yogurt drizzle, as well as a drizzle of EVOO. Garnish with some chopped spring onions and cilantro, and serve immediately!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Judy Glenn
    Judy Glenn
  • Khani
  • mainesoul
  • kevin.mcnurlin
  • boymeetsgirlmeetsfood

14 Reviews

Judy G. November 7, 2017
Making this now, but wondering if I freeze it, should I omit steps 8 and 9 until thawed and heated, or should I add the spinach before freezing?
boymeetsgirlmeetsfood November 7, 2017
Hi there! I would add the spinach when you reheat it each time so it keeps its texture. Let us know how you go with the recipe, hope you enjoy it!
Khani July 14, 2015
I just made a massive stockpot full of this soup (I rehydrated 5 kg of chickpeas yesterday :D ), and it is delicious. I substituted the canned tomatoes for fresh tomatoes, which I put through my blender. Most likely it tastes slightly different than intended, but I am really enjoying it!

Also, I found that the soup really thickened up overnight, so don't worry about it being too thin when you take it off the heat. As long as the flavour is there, it will only get better by the next day.
So glad to hear that you enjoyed it! Fresh tomatoes sound like a delicious substitution :)
Mia February 14, 2014
That looks delicious!!cannot wait to make it next week:-)
mainesoul September 22, 2013
I am eating this now. It is full of lovely flavors. A keeper.
boymeetsgirlmeetsfood September 22, 2013
So happy that you like it!!
kkimberly September 21, 2013
This looks amazing but I'm in the UK, any suggestions for a substitute for Trader Joe's fire-roasted diced tomatoes? How about if I roasted some cherry tomatoes instead and added extra chilies?
boymeetsgirlmeetsfood September 21, 2013
Hi Kimberly! You could certainly use roasted cherry tomatoes, however it might be easier to buy a can of diced tomatoes and add some freshly roasted green chilies and a bit of paprika. Please let us know what you end up using, and how it turns out! x
kkimberly September 23, 2013
Thanks so much for the suggestion, I just used a can of chopped tomatoes and chucked in an extra chile, it was delicious!
boymeetsgirlmeetsfood September 24, 2013
so glad you found a substitute and enjoyed the soup! any feedback/things you would do to tweak it? Thanks so much! xx
kkimberly September 25, 2013
Honestly it was delicious, the boyfriend loved it too so clearly a winner.
I think I might try it next time with chipotle chilies and smoked paprika, not that it needed it but just as an experiment. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks again for such a great recipe!
kevin.mcnurlin January 12, 2013
I am thinking that 1 pint of lemon zest is a typo? otherwise making this soup happen today!
boymeetsgirlmeetsfood January 13, 2013
Can't believe we didn't catch that- that is meant to be 1 pinch of lemon zest. Thanks for pointing it out to us, and please let us know what you think of the soup! We love feedback.