Spicy Chickpea and Bulgur Soup


This is a simple and nutritious soup that you can be put together almost at the last minute — if you have a can of chickpea and some bulgur wheat hanging around. If you don’t, a can of beans and other grains, such as farro and freekeh, or rice, would work as well. Like any soup, the widest category of foods can be included. As long as there’s enough fluid to eat with a spoon, it is a soup. And anything goes!

Bulgur is considered whole grain. It is usually sold parboiled and dried, with only a very small amount of the bran partially removed. Its high nutritional value makes it a good substitute for rice or couscous. Texture wise, it is more like couscous than rice. Compared to unenriched white rice, bulgur has more fiber and protein, a lower glycemic index, and higher levels of most vitamins and minerals.

This soup is convenient to make and uses mostly everyday items you already have in the fridge or pantry. Gather the aromatics: onions, carrots and stalks of celery. Line up the spices: cumin, coriander and caraway seeds. You are ready to go. This soup is tasty given the heat from harissa that can be dialed up or down based on your desired taste. The spiciness of this soup makes it so much more interesting from a flavor balance perspective. It tickles my taste buds and elevates the soup from an everyday comfort variety to something remarkable.

This recipe is adapted from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. He suggests serving the soup with a creamed feta paste. I also see adding Parmesan cheese as an alternative savory component to the soup.

This soup and a salad dish are joining the April potluck party at IHCC. There will be many interesting dishes on the table from other IHCC participants. Please make a visit.





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  • Reply
    kitchen flavours
    April 30, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    What a lovely soup! I should make soups with grains more often! And yes, I would definitely go with the harissa!

  • Reply
    May 1, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    We are big fans of chicken in our household and your soup looks wonderfully good. But I am not a bulgher fan, having tried it numerous times. Would adapt it here but I will say, you are correct, it's nutricious !

  • Reply
    May 3, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    Oooh! Lovely soup. I can certainly see why it would tickle your tastebuds! This is my kind of soup (I'm a bean lover). The feta paste that is recommended sounds lovely, but it looks just as good without. Hearty and satisfying, I know this was a hit!

  • Reply
    Deb in Hawaii
    May 4, 2015 at 9:18 am

    I made this soup a while back (with freekeh) and really loved it–especially with the creamed feta paste–although it was excellent without the feta too. Such a warming and satisfying soup. 😉

  • Reply
    May 4, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    It is the kind of soup I'd make again and again. I'll add the feta paste next time around and see whether I like it better or not.

  • Reply
    May 5, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    I have only just 'discovered' bulgar and I really like it. Thanks for sharing this one.

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