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Middle-Eastern Chickpea Soup

Yield: 10 cups

Servings: 6

This hearty vegan soup makes a warming winter dinner.


  • 8  oz. (1 1/4 cups) dried chickpeas, picked over and rinsed
  • 1  medium clove garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt
  • 2  Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  •  Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup peeled carrots, cut in 1/4-inch-thick half-moons
  • 1  cup trimmed 1/2-inch cauliflower florets
  • 1  cup peeled, diced potatoes (1/2-inch dice)
  • 5  to 6 cups homemade or lower-salt chicken broth or homemade vegetable broth
  • 1  to 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • chile oil, for garnish
  • 1/3  cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  • Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover by 3 inches. Soak for 4 to 12 hours.
  • Drain the chickpeas, rinse them, and transfer to a 3- or 4-quart saucepan. Add the garlic clove, bay leaf, and 6 cups cold water. Partially cover to limit evaporation and simmer gently, stirring every 20 to 30 minutes, until the chickpeas are tender and almost creamy inside, without being mealy or mushy, about 1-1/4 to 2 hours.
  • When the chickpeas are about three-quarters done, season with 3/4 tsp. salt. If at any time the liquid doesn’t cover the chickpeas, add 1 cup fresh water. Drain the chickpeas, reserving the cooking liquid, and discard the bay leaf.
  • Heat the olive oil in a 4- to 5-quart soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and celery to the pot, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook until they begin to soften but not brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in the cumin, coriander, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the carrots, cauliflower, and potatoes, and 2 cups of the broth. Partially cover and simmer until the vegetables are just barely tender, 10 to 20 minutes. Add the chickpeas and 3 cups of the broth, plus 1 cup of the reserved chickpea-cooking liquid. If you have less than 1 cup of chickpea liquid, adjust the broth for a total of 4 cups liquid. Stir and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Add the lemon and salt and pepper to taste. Top each serving with a drizzle of chile oil and a sprinkle of parsley.


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