Chickpea Soup with Lime Cream


A delightful winter warmer, this chickpea soup is rich and spicy with a Moroccan influence - it packs a mighty punch and the lime cream gives it a luscious zing. This recipe calls for fresh, boiled chickpeas as they are slightly higher in vitamins and minerals but if you are short on time, tinned would be fine. The Greek yoghurt used in the lime cream can also be substituted with a non-dairy alternative.

We usually associate chickpeas with hummus or falafel but these legumes are extraordinarily versatile and can be used in a variety of ways including: stews, salads, chillies, stir fries and currries and make a healthy addition to any diet. Just two to three tablespoons will equate to one portion of the daily recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables; dont forget chickpeas are a great source of protein too.


Serves 6

  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp cumin1.5-2 litres water / 3-4 pints water
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 500g / 1 lb dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 3 garlic cloves, left whole
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander or parsley, roughly chopped
  • dash of Tabasco
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 500ml / 1 pint Greek yoghurt
  • smattering of freshly ground nutmeg


Heat 25ml / 1fl oz of the olive oil in a heavy based pan. Then add the onion and chopped garlic and fry until transparent. Add the cumin and fry for a minute, stirring all the time and adding 2-3 tbsp of water as soon as the mix dries out. Continue in this way, adding the paprika and about 150ml / 6 fl oz of water.

Add the chickpeas, stirring until they are well coated in the spices. Finally add the zest of the water - about 1.5 litres / 3 pints - and the whole garlic cloves. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a slow simmer over a period of 1 1/2 hours, adding a little liquid each time you see it beginning to over-thicken. Towards the end, add in the remaining oil and add salt at this stage.

To make the lime-infused cream, mix the lime zest and juice with the yoghurt and allow to sit for 20-30 minutes. Stir in some fresh ground nutmeg.

Just before serving, add the coriander, Tabasco and pepper and continue to simmer for just a couple more minutes. You can mash the soup with a potato masher so that some of it is smooth and some rough or you can blend it smooth, in which case you should wait until afterwards to add the coriander. Serve with the lime cream.

Adapted from The New Cranks Recipe Book.

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