Chickpea & tomato soup

Here is another recipe originally from Sophie Grigson’s Food for Friends (see Aubergine Parmigiana). I’ve had to play around with it from the start because the officially published version has no tomatoes in it (in spite of the title) and, in any case, it lends itself to multiple variations. All sorts of tinned pulses will work just as well as chickpeas and you can sling in any flavourings that take your fancy: sumac, piros arany, carrots, even grilled red peppers all have their place.

Serves 4


1 onion, halved and sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tbsp oil – anything not too strongly flavoured
zest and juice of half a lemon
1 tin chickpeas
1 tin chopped tomatoes
500ml vegetable or chicken stock
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground fenugreek
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp sugar
salt to taste
Some chopped herbs (parsley or coriander) to garnish


Heat the oil on a medium heat in a heavy saucepan and add the onions. Cook, stirring until softened (about eight minutes), then add the garlic and lemon zest and cook for another couple of minutes. Raise the heat and add the rest of the ingredients apart from the chickpeas, salt, lemon juice and herbs. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat again and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the chickpeas and cook for a final five minutes, then stir in the lemon juice and salt, remove from the heat and allow to cool a little before whizzing it all up (in two batches) in a blender. Reheat, check seasoning and serve with a scattering of herbs on top.

Published by motherrach

Alongside this blog, which records tried and tested family favourites, I’m documenting on Instagram (mother_rach_cooks) my efforts in repertoire expansion.

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