Lentil and Chickpea Soup

Red lentil and chikpea soup recipe - a warming Middle eastern style soup with a tomato base and spiced with earthy cumin and Ras el Hanout. Packed with protein, vegan and makes a great warming meatless dinner.

A North African inspired soup with red lentil and chickpeas, with a tomato base that is spiced with earthy cumin and Ras el Hanout. A perfectly warming soup for a cold winter’s day that would make a quick and easy meatless supper. Add a little bit of chilli powder for a bit of a spicy kick or paprika for a milder option and serve with a fresh squeeze of lemon. 


Red lentil and chikpea soup recipe - a warming Middle eastern style soup with a tomato base and spiced with earthy cumin and Ras el Hanout. Packed with protein, vegan and makes a great warming meatless dinner.

I am literally counting down the days (less than 2 weeks left!) until we start getting more daylight! I can endure the cold, and I like a bit of rain every now and then (no soggy socks though), but one thing I am not a fan of though is the lack of daylight hours. So I like to compensate for the dark and the cold with hot soup in vibrant colours. This North African style soup or stew smells so rich and exotic that I almost feel transported to the Mediterranean. I also added a pinch of chilli powder so alongside the warmth of the soup, it’s excellent for if you’re feeling a little under the weather.

Red lentil and chikpea soup recipe - a warming Middle eastern style soup with a tomato base and spiced with earthy cumin and Ras el Hanout. Packed with protein, vegan and makes a great warming meatless dinner.

This recipe was inspired by the many Algerian soups over at Halal Home Cooking. I decided to go for a protein veggie combo of red lentil, which we always have in the house and chickpeas. And yes, I did use canned chickpeas. Seriously, one of these days I will use dried chickpeas! 

I flavoured this soup with ground cumin, which is probably my favourite spice ever, and that lends a certain earthiness to the soup. I also used Ras el Hanout for the first time, a classical North African spice mix. You can make your own blend at home, but I decided to go for a shop bought version. It’s super aromatic and heady and the combination of spices is quite similar to what you might find in Indian cuisine or garam masala spice blends.

Red lentil and chikpea soup recipe - a warming Middle eastern style soup with a tomato base and spiced with earthy cumin and Ras el Hanout. Packed with protein, vegan and makes a great warming meatless dinner.

I also added a pinch of turmeric which I don’t usually add to soups. But it adds more vibrancy to the colour of the soup alongside some tomato puree. Much more attractive than a brown soup. Bengalis will add turmeric to pretty much anything. People like my mum passionately assert that if you don’t add a little turmeric a dish will look anaemic (literally sai takheh for m Bengali readers out there). 

So if you’re looking for a soup to transport you to a warmer climate then give this healthy and flavour packed soup a go.

Lentil and Chickpea Soup
Serves 4
Red lentil and chikpea soup recipe - a warming Middle eastern style soup with a tomato base and spiced with earthy cumin and Ras el Hanout. Packed with protein, vegan and makes a great warming meatless dinner.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 3-4 tbs oil
  2. 1 onion sliced,
  3. 1 clove garlic, sliced
  4. 1 bay leaf
  5. 1 tsp ras el hanout
  6. 1 tsp cumin
  7. 1/4 tsp turmeric
  8. 1/4 tsp chilli powder or paprika
  9. 2/3 cup red lentils, washed and soaked for 10 minutes
  10. 1 can of cooked chickpeas, drained
  11. 1 cup cherry tomatoes or 1 medium salad tomato, chopped
  12. 1 tbs tomato paste
  13. Water
  14. Salt to season
  15. Coriander to garnish
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized pot add oil. Allow to heat up then add in onions and garlic. Add a 1/4 tsp salt to help onions soften. Let onions cook until golden brown.
  2. Add in bay leaf and ground spices. Cook off the spices for about 2-3 minutes then add in drained lentils, tomato paste and tomatoes. Stir to toast the lentils and leave it for 3-5 minutes. Then add 1.5-2 cups water to help lentils soften and cook through. Cover and leave to cook.
  3. Once the lentils have absorbed the water and cooked through, add in the chickpeas. Stir then top up the pot with enough water to bring it to the brim, about 3-5 cups. Cover and leave the soup to simmer to a boil on a medium heat.
  4. After about 15-20 minutes, once the soup has simmering to a rolling boil and the liquid has reduced slightly, season with salt to taste. Garnish with a handful of coriander then remove from the heat and serve.
The Red Lychee http://www.theredlychee.com/

Red lentil and chikpea soup recipe - a warming Middle eastern style soup with a tomato base and spiced with earthy cumin and Ras el Hanout. Packed with protein, vegan and makes a great warming meatless dinner.

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5 thoughts on “Lentil and Chickpea Soup

  1. I love everything about this dish, especially that it’s vegetarian. Contrary to my many meaty north African soup recipes and according to my husband most families in Algeria and probably throughout North Africa rarely eat meat due to its high price so your recipe is an ideal everyday meal. Jazaaki Allahu khayran for the mention, it’s lovely we support each other through our blogging journeys. Allah grant us success. Ameen.
    Umm Hamza recently posted…Syrian Roast Chicken & PotatoesMy Profile

    1. Abida

      I love a meaty legume soup though! But yes, I can imagine that a veggie version is a lot more appropriate for a lot of families. It’s certainly a lot more convenient for me. Ameen to the lovely dua Umm H <3

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