Spicy chickpea soup

Season: All year

Type: Soups

Difficulty: Easy

Serves: 4 at home or 24 tastes in the classroom

Fresh from the garden: onions, garlic, carrots, celery, coriander, mint

Recipe source: Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty More


  • metric measuring spoons and cups
  • chopping boards & non-slip mats
  • medium knives
  • small saucepan
  • heavy-based saucepan
  • peeler
  • scales
  • sieve
  • small food processor
  • serving bowls


  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 large carrots
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 1 tbsp harissa
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1½ tsp caraway seeds
  • 500 g cooked/canned chickpeas
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 100 g coarse bulgur wheat
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Creamed feta paste

  • 100 g feta
  • 60 g sour cream
  • 15 g coriander leaves
  • 15 g mint leaves
  • Sea salt

What to do

  • Set out your ingredients.

Prepare the vegetables

  • Peel and chop the onions and carrots.
  • Peel and crush the garlic.
  • Chop the celery.

Cook the soup

  • Put the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time, until translucent.
  • Add the garlic, carrots and celery and continue cooking for another 8 minutes.   Add the harissa, cumin, coriander and caraway seeds and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring well.
  • Gently mix the chickpeas into the vegetable mixture along with 1 teaspoon of salt and plenty of black pepper. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat to simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Prepare the bulgur

  • Rinse the bulgur, put in a small saucepan and cover generously with cold water. Bring to the boil and immediately remove from the heat.   Drain, refresh under cold water, drain again, and set aside.

Make the feta paste.

  • Put the feta, sour cream, coriander, mint and ⅛ teaspoon salt in the bowl of a small food processor and blitz for a couple of minutes, until smooth, creamy paste forms. Keep in the fridge until needed.

To serve

  • Add the cooked bulgur to the soup and bring to a gentle simmer. Divide the soup among serving bowls, add a spoonful of feta paste to each bowl and serve at once.

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