Hot harissa chickpea soup with fresh herbs sauce

hot harissa chickpea soup

Yesterday I was telling you that I was in need of soup. Actually, that I was craving and was about to whip up a hot ‘n sassy samosa soup, full of nourishing warming spices and chickpeas. Because chickpeas make sense, anytime, anywhere. Well, something happened during those 2 seconds, after I finished typing, while grabbing a can of chickpeas. A thought crossed my mind: harissa. Harissa + soup. Harissa + chickpeas + soup. The rest is history. There was no debate, no second thoughts. Before I knew it, I was elbow deep in my mortar and pestle, grinding those flavorsome spices, while the onion was simmering on the stove top.

hot harissa chickpea soup

To say this soup is good does not do it justice. It’s perfect. It’s packed with some of my favorite aromatic herbs and spices, it’s hot just right, it’s incredibly comforting on a rainy day (and any other day really), nourishing and filling. You’ll want seconds and you’ll want it the next day too, so make sure you make plenty, especially if you have other hungry bellies to feed.

The fresh herbs sauce is optional I guess; you don’t have to make it if fresh herbs are not in season in your corner of the world. But if they are, make it please, it adds another layer of awesome to the soup.

Now, wanna tell me what your favorite soup is all about? What ingredients make your heart sing? What spices warm your belly?

hot harissa chickpea soup

Hot harissa chickpea soup with fresh herbs sauce

Serves about 6

Ingredients for harissa paste

  • 6 sun dried tomato halves
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar (I used this homemade one)
  • 4 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • pinch sea salt

Ingredients for soup

  • 1 red onion, finely minced
  • 3-4 TBSP coconut oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 carrot, chopped into small cubes
  • 1 beetroot, chopped into small cubes
  • 2 cans of tomatoes (I used one of chopped tomatoes and one of whole tomatoes for a more rustic soup)
  • 2 cans of chickpeas
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 TBSP vegetable stock powder (I used this homemade one)
  • 3 slices of preserved lemon (optional, but gorgeous), finely minced

Ingredients for fresh herb sauce

  • 2 handfuls of parsley, stalks and all
  • 1 handful coriander, stalks and all, without the root
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 TBSP roughly chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. First, make the harissa paste. Add all the ingredients to a mortar and pestle and work that magic until you get a paste. Taste it and congratulate yourself. You just made harissa from scratch! You can say by-bye to store bought jars and preservatives. Now set it aside (for now) and make the soup.
  2. Cook the onion in few tablespoons of coconut oil, until it becomes translucent.
  3. Add the garlic to the onion and cook for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the harissa paste to the onion and garlic. Mix well and cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring and making sure the garlic doesn’t burn.
  5. Add the diced carrot and beetroot. Mix and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add the canned tomatoes (if using whole ones, give them a squeeze to roughly break them apart), the chickpeas, water, stock powder and preserved lemon. Give everything a good mix, cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook for about 20 minutes, simmering.
  7. While your soup is becoming all gorgeous, make the fresh herbs sauce. Add all the ingredients to a food processor and blitz for about a minute, until you get a chunky sauce. Use it to top the soup and store the leftovers in the fridge.

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