Spicy chickpea and bulgar soup


Happy New Year, I hope 2020 is treating you well so far! I’ve had a lovely break, but now it’s time to get back to business and I’m looking forward to sharing plenty of delicious recipes with you this year – including today’s very tasty recipe for spicy chickpea soup!



I’ve decided to ease into another year of blogging by sharing a few recipes from some of the new cookbooks that I’ve added to my collection over the last few months. Starting with something wholesome and hearty from the veggie packed “Plenty More” by Yotam Ottolenghi. Plant based diets are here to stay and this book is a fantastic source of inspiration for all things veg.



Being a chickpea fan I immediately gravitated towards this recipe, and it did not disappoint. The ingredients are pretty straight forward and the soup has a delicious, warming flavour. I was worried that it might be a little too spicy, but it was actually just right. I usually blitz my soups at the end, but this is a textured soup and it was better than I expected. Also, (like many savoury dishes), it tastes even better the next day. The addition of the bulgar wheat makes it a hearty main dish. And that’s not all, the soup is topped with a dollop of herby whipped feta for additional flavour and and a touch of flair. I wouldn’t expect anything less from Ottolenghi. Enjoy!


Cook’s notes:

  • This recipe yields 4 generous servings or 6 smaller servings.
  • You can add less harissa paste if you’d like to make the soup less hot, but I found that two tablespoons was just perfect (and I’m not a fan of overly spicy dishes).
  • Leave off the whipped feta for a dairy free/vegan dish.



For the soup:

  • 30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
  • 180g diced onion (about 1 large onion)
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 250g peeled and diced carrot
  • 250g diced celery
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) harissa paste
  • 5ml (1 tsp) ground cumin
  • 5ml (1 tsp) ground coriander
  • 7.5ml (1½ tsp) caraway seeds
  • 500g cooked or tinned chickpeas (2 tins, drained)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1.2 litres vegetable stock
  • 100g bulgar wheat

For the creamed feta paste:

  • 100g feta, cut into chunks
  • 60g crème fraîche
  • 15g fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 15g mint leaves
  • pinch of salt

1.) Place the olive oil in a large pot over a medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2.) Add the garlic, carrot and celery. Cook for a further 8 minutes.

3.) Add the harissa, cumin, coriander and caraway seeds. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring well to combine. Add the chickpeas and stir gently so that you don’t squash them. Add one teaspoon of salt and some black pepper.

4.) Add the stock, stir and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer gently for 10 minutes.

5.) While the soup is simmering prepare the bulgar wheat. Rinse the bulgar and place in a small saucepan. Cover generously with cold water and bring to the boil. As soon as bubbles appear take the saucepan off the heat. Drain the bulgar and refresh under cold water. Drain again, then set aside.

6.) To make the feta paste place the feta, crème fraîche, coriander, mint and salt in a food processor. Blitz for a few minutes until well combined and creamy. Set aside in the fridge until serving time.

7.) Add the cooked bulgar to the soup. Check the seasoning, then bring a simmer. Dish into bowls and add a dollop of feta paste to each bowl just before serving.


4 thoughts on “Spicy chickpea and bulgar soup

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