Moroccan Style Chickpea Soup

I’ve been eyeing the The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook for a while and my husband surprised me with it the other day.  I was so excited to try a recipe that I made something the very next day.

Since it’s January in CT, it’s only fitting that I try a soup recipe first.  Ironically, it was in the 60’s this past weekend, which is an actual heat wave for this time of the year.  Nonetheless, we still enjoyed eating this soup.

It’s not the prettiest bowl of food, but then again, I find that most soups don’t necessarily look as good as they taste. I love that it’s vegetarian and that the leftovers taste as good as the day I made it. I’ve had this soup for lunch over the past three days and I’m still not tired of it. That’s saying a lot because I get bored easily when I eat something multiple days in a row (with the exception of pizza, bagels, and ice cream of course 😀 ).

My husband added sour cream to his bowl of soup, which he says makes it more flavorful. It’s a versatile soup so I think that many toppings would work and even enhance it, like cheese, sour cream, croutons, crackers, corn chips, well almost anything, you get the idea. Because sometimes half the fun is the toppings.

Fair warning, saffron is crazy expensive. Where I am a 0.06 ounce container was $20. It goes a pretty long way, but it’s not for everyone. If you decide that a very expensive spice in your collection just isn’t worth it, you can leave it out. I have read that turmeric makes a good substitution for flavor but it will not bring with it that typical yellow color that saffron does. If you really miss the color, yellow food coloring will do the job but I think that’s silly.

Moroccan Style Chickpea Soup Recipe
(Makes 4 to 6 servings)


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 pound red potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) petite diced tomatoes (don’t drain!)
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I used low sodium chicken broth.)
  • chopped fresh parsley
  • lemon wedges
  • (optional) salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a big pot, over medium/high heat, heat the oil.
  2. Add the chopped onion, sugar, and salt and cook until the onion is softened. (About 5 minutes.)
  3. Stir in the minced garlic, paprika, saffron, ginger, and cumin, and cook until it’s fragrant. (About 30 seconds.)
  4. Stir in the chickpeas, chopped potatoes, petite diced tomatoes (with juice), chopped zucchini, and chicken broth. Bring it to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender. (About 20 to 30 minutes.)
  5. Using a wooden spoon, mash some of the potatoes against the side of the pot to thicken the soup.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Top each bowl of soup with chopped fresh parsley and a lemon wedge.

Adapted from: The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook

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