Potato-Leek Soup With Spiced Chickpeas

January 18, 2022
29 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten Prop Stylist: Brooke Deonarine Food Stylist: Adrienne Anderson
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

The simplicity of this soup is what makes it special: Leeks, garlic, and shallot are cooked in butter, which complements creamy potatoes and chickpeas, all adding up to a hearty vegetarian soup. You can even add some carrots and parsnips along with the potatoes in Step 2 for a bit of extra sweetness, as well as red chiles for a bit of heat. But for me, the star of this dish is that lovely spiced topping. Cooking some of the leek greens and chickpeas in paprika, coriander, and cumin until crispy lends a bit of texture against the creamy soup. When served together, these small additions make the soup sing. —Chetna Makan

What You'll Need
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large shallot, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 large leeks, washed and thinly sliced (all green and white parts, roots discarded)
  • 11 ounces (about 3 medium) all-purpose potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, roughly chopped
  • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • Fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Chile oil, for serving
  1. Heat the butter and 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the shallot and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
  2. Reserve a handful of the leeks' green tops. Add the rest of the leeks to the pan and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until softened. Add in the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes, until they start to turn golden.
  3. Reserve ½ cup of the chickpeas. Add the rest to the pan and combine with the vegetables. Add the stock and 1 teaspoon of salt to the pan and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 40 minutes, until the potatoes are fall-apart tender.
  4. Toward the end of that 40 minutes, prepare the topping. Heat the remaining oil in a small saucepan or skillet over medium heat and add the reserved sliced leek tops and reserved chickpeas. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the chickpeas are lightly golden and the leeks are deep green. Remove from the heat and add the paprika, coriander, cumin, and a pinch of salt and mix well. Leave it in the pan to cool.
  5. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup (alternatively, transfer to a heatproof blender and purée, then return to the pan). If you prefer it a bit thinner, add ¼ cup water. Add the pepper and cream and mix well (alternatively, add the pepper and cream before blending the soup, but I prefer the texture and flavor of stirring them in). Divide the soup between the serving bowls and top each with some of the chickpea and leek mixture. Drizzle with chile oil and serve immediately.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Dariusz
  • deb oswald
    deb oswald
  • Clare Colley
    Clare Colley
  • marian baldauf
    marian baldauf

13 Reviews

Dariusz January 31, 2024
Fantastic soup! One of the best I've ever eaten. Definitely can recommend.
deb O. October 8, 2023
Wow this was delightful! The only change I made was I had apparently no smoked paprika (where did it go??) so I used sweet Hungarian paprika and a little tiny bit of cayenne, plus some Greek seasoning salt in the garnish. It was so good. Plus I stirred prob 2 tablespoons of cream into just my own bowl- so you are a little light on the cream amounts lol.
ustabahippie August 6, 2023
Excellent!! Will make this one often. Halved recipe but kept spices shallots and garlic for whole version. Yum
Brob724 February 28, 2023
Hello! This was so tasty! I was wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of the nutritional values. Thank you!
Clare C. February 12, 2023
Being low carb, I would have avoided a recipe like this in the past, until I read that cauliflower can be substituted for potatoes. Maybe not quite as creamy a texture, so I would probably increase the actual cream a bit, especially if the soup needed thinning out, rather than use water. I’m looking forward to trying this, especially with the crispy chick peas instead of bread croutons. I’ll probably use the oven rather than the stove top for both the chick peas and the kale, but I am anticipating something really good!
Tathiana February 7, 2023
Delicious soup. The whole family, including picky eater kids, enjoyed it. The one thing I did differently was to put the chickpeas/leek for the topping in the oven and baked it at 410 for 10 min to make it more crispy.
arlenesfoodmoods February 4, 2023
This was delicious! I made it exactly as the recipe is written with the exception of using plain chickpeas. The only chickpeas I had on hand was a container of Balela from Trader Joe’s. I rinsed it and then cooked it in the olive oil & spices. It tasted amazing. There’s a bit of lemon juice in the chickpea mixture which added a wonderful slightly tart flavor. Can’t wait to eat my leftovers!
marian B. January 16, 2023
Simply delicious. I puréed it with my vita mix on high speed - so smooth and creamy. The store was a little short on leeks so I added an extra onion, I used chicken stock and it’s just a beautiful soup.
Darian January 15, 2023
The temperature actually dipped into the 30s in Florida this weekend, so it finally made sense to prepare food that warms you up. This soup was simple and straightforward with excellent results. I loved the topping and drizzle of chili oil; it really added a layer of complexity to the flavor and texture that everyone enjoyed.
Vwill17 December 27, 2022
I made this recipe without any substitutions, and did end up adding 1/4-1/2 cup of water at the end to try to thin it out as recommended. The chickpeas were good but probably not necessary - i enjoyed the leftovers with some crusty bread and croutons!
hillary February 6, 2022
Made this yesterday for family on a breath-takingly cold afternoon. We are lovers of potato leek soup and this was a real crowd pleaser. Instead of frying the chickpeas I tossed them in oil and the spices then roasted them in a very hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes adding the leeks half way through. Oh, and I accidentally forgot the cream and didn't realize it until later that evening. It was still delicious.
Teri G. February 5, 2022
Easy and yummy.
J S. January 25, 2022
Yum! Saw the video last night and decided to make this today. Had been looking for a new recipe to use some of the chickpeas I have on hand. Love how the the pure, simple flavor of the soup contrasts with the spicy toppings. The only thing I did differently was start with dried chickpeas instead of canned. I did an overnight soak, simmered them in the morning with some herbs, garlic, onion, dried chili, and salt, and then used the bean cooking liquid in place of the vegetable stock for the soup.