Chickpea Harissa Soup
This simple chickpea harissa soup is the perfect vegetarian weeknight meal! Loaded with fresh veggies, smoky fire-roasted tomatoes, canned chickpeas, and a blend of fragrant spices. It’s healthy, so easy to make, and flavorful!
Ingredients in Chickpea Harissa Soup
Harissa: Harissa is a delicious smoky chili paste that originated from Tunisia, North Africa. It is typically made with roasted red peppers, garlic, olive oil, and various spices, but some varieties may have rose petals or sun-dried tomatoes. For this chickpea harissa soup, we used harissa paste from a jar, but homemade would also be delicious! Just keep in mind that every harissa paste recipe or jar is a little different, so make sure you taste a small amount before adding it to the pot!
Chickpeas: To keep it simple, we used canned chickpeas. If you prefer to use dried chickpeas, make sure they have been soaked and cooked before adding them to the soup.
Vegetables: This chickpea harissa soup recipe is naturally vegan, so we like to bulk it up with some fresh vegetables. Onion, bell peppers, carrots, and celery all add their own delicious flavor and texture.
Broth: Any low-sodium vegetable broth works here. For a non-vegan version, chicken stock also works.
Fire-roasted tomatoes: Harissa paste is naturally sweet and smoky, but a can of fire-roasted tomatoes adds another layer of that smoky flavor. Make sure you buy ones that don’t contain any added ingredients, like chiles or salt.
Spices: This fragrant soup contains all sorts of Middle Eastern-inspired spices like cumin, cinnamon, paprika, and turmeric.
How to Make Chickpea Harissa Soup
Ready in just about half an hour, this Harissa Chickpea Soup Recipe could not be any easier to make!
Start by chopping your vegetables and have all the other ingredients ready to go. Heat a bit of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat then add the onion and allow it to soften. Go ahead and add in the rest of those vegetables, along with the spices, garlic, and harissa paste. It’s important that aromatics toast for a couple of minutes in the olive oil so they release more flavor.
Add in the fire-roasted tomatoes, chickpeas, and stock. Season with salt and pepper as well as a small amount of sugar. This may seem a little odd in a savory dish, but a little sweetness really helps bring out the flavor of the tomatoes and other ingredients. Bring everything up to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes. Depending on how soft or crunchy you like your veggies, this may take more or less time.
What to Serve with Chickpea Harissa Soup
If you’re in the mood for a lighter meal or appetizer, we recommend serving this harissa chickpea soup with just a garnish of fresh cilantro and mint.
For a more substantial meal, try serving each portion with some rice or cooked pearled couscous drizzled with a bit of olive oil. Other pasta works, too. Our golden turmeric rice recipe also goes really well with this soup. We also love a few slices of crusty bread to sop up all that delicious broth!
More Recipes to Try
Chickpea Harissa Soup
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- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1-2 tablespoons harissa paste, to taste
- 15 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
- 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
- Cooked pearl couscous, rice, or crusty bread, for serving
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When shimmering, add the onion and cook for 5-7 minutes, until softened.2 tablespoons olive oil, ½ medium yellow onion
- Add the bell pepper, carrot, celery, garlic, spices and harissa paste. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes or until fragrant.1 medium red bell pepper, 1 large carrot, 1 stalk celery, 3 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon ground turmeric, 1 cinnamon stick, 1-2 tablespoons harissa paste
- Add the fire-roasted tomatoes, chickpeas, stock, and sugar. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.15 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes, 15 ounce can chickpeas, 1 teaspoon sugar, 3 cups vegetable stock
- Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Serve warm topped with cilantro and mint.2 tablespoons fresh mint, ¼ cup cilantro
Can ground cinnamon be used instead of a cinnamon stick? If so, how much?
A ½ teaspoon should do the trick!