Moroccan Carrot and Chickpea Soup

May 10, 2011

I recently bought some chickpeas. And a whole bag of carrots. Fascinating, I know, but I felt it prudent to share this information – you’ll see why below…

On Sunday it was raining and rather chilly. Naturally, all these factors meant that I had to make soup. Naturally. I had all those carrots and chickpeas, remember?

Moroccan-inspired spices were practically screaming out to me from my spice draw. I obliged. Naturally.

As a result, this soup is spiked with a little cumin and freshly ground corainder seeds. Saffron was voicing itself rather strongly also, so I invited it to lend it’s lovely flavour to the dish. Who doesn’t like a fragrant, spiced soup?…

Although the real flavour punch comes from the pureed roasted carrot and garlic, which creates a thick, sweet, richness that is rather delightful. The fresh silverbeet added right at the end freshens everything up nicely. And the bite from the lemon zest is very welcome.

I served this soup with thickly sliced, fresh rye sourdough. A hearty, quite delicious dish that was very warming in this ghostly cold Melbourne weather.

Moroccan Carrot and Chickpea Soup

Inspired by this Olivia Andrews recipe (link here).

Serves 2-3


1/2 cup dried Chickpeas, soaked overnight (or 1 cup canned Chickpeas)
4 large Carrots
3 large cloves Garlic, skin on
Spray Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Freshly Cracked Pepper
1 Brown Onion
2 Celery Stalks
1 teaspoon Coriander Seeds
1/4 teaspoon Saffron
1 tablespoon Hot Water
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 teaspoons Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Chilli Powder
4 cups Water
3 cups Chicken Stock
3 large Silverbeet Leaves, washed
2 teaspoons Lemon Zest (or more if you’re like me and love your zest)
Delicious Bread to serve (we also ate our soup and bread with a side of Olives, yum!)

*Option: top your bowl with 1/2 tablespoon Toasted Almond Flakes per person – I will definitely do this next time for some yummy crunch


1. Preheat your oven to 200 Degrees Celsius.

2. Chop the carrots up into 6cm long sections, then cut these sections in half and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Give the carrots a quick spray with olive oil and lightly season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. Pop into the oven and bake for 10 minutes.

3. While the carrots are baking, dice the onion and celery. Then grind the coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle.

4. After 10 minutes, add the garlic cloves to the baking tray of carrots and give them a quick spray with olive oil. Bake for a further 15 minutes (once cooked, turn the oven off and let them sit – I left mine in the oven until I needed them).

5. Whilst the carrots and garlic are baking, place the saffron and hot water in a small cup. Allow to sit for five minutes.

6. Heat 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large heavy-based pot over low-medium heat. When hot, add the onion and cook for a minute before adding the celery and cooking for a further few minutes (turn down the heat if it gets too hot and starts to stick to the bottom).

7. Once the onion and celery are soft, add the cumin, ground coriander seeds, chilli powder and saffron (plus the liquid), and cook for a couple of minutes.

8. If using dried chickpeas (soaked overnight), give them a quick rinse under cold water.

9. Add 3 cups of the 4 cups of water, all 3 cups of the stock and your overnight-soaked chickpeas to the pot (if using canned chickpeas, don’t add them now) and bring to the boil. Turn down to a gentle simmer and cook for 45 minutes.

10. While the soup is cooking, place the carrots in a hand blender. Peel the garlic cloves and add them too, along with 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Whiz in the blender until fairly smooth, adding more oil if you need to.

11. After the soup has simmered for 45 minutes, add the carrot mixture to the pot and give a good stir to incorporate. Add the last cup of water to the pot and turn the heat up until bubbling again. If using canned chickpeas, add them at this point. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and cook for a final 10 minutes.

12. Dice up the silverbeet (just a rough, chunky dice) and during the last minute of cooking, add it to the pot and allow to wilt.

13. Dish up your soup into bowls and top with lemon zest (and toasted almonds, if you so desire). Serve with fresh or toasted bread (and olives!)

Heidi xo
  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) May 10, 2011 at 8:15 am

    oh this looks heavenly!

  • Taryn May 10, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Wow, that looks delicious Heidi! Definitely going to have to try this one xT

  • Lisa May 10, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Looks fantastic Heidi, that is most definitely being made very soon.

    Was it possible to reheat or did the chickpeas deteriorate?

  • Michelle Chin May 10, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    I used to make this very often but not anymore. I nearly forget that chickpeas existed!

  • Hannah May 10, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    I'm so delighted that you ussed dried chickpeas! I bought some recently and keep forgetting to use them. I shall plan ahead for this soup, particularly as it's going to be -6 in Canberra on Sunday morning, apparently…. *shudder*

  • Blithely Unaware May 10, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Delicious!! I'd definitely add more lemon zest too I can't get enough of the stuff.

    I'm making a basic pumpkin soup tonight can't wait!!!

  • wholesomecook May 10, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Oh my goodness – this looks yum. I'm starting to get into soups at the moment. The chilly weather helps. And you won't believe this but on Sunday we had Moroccan-inspired lamb with chickpeas. Must be the cravings of a warm exotic place!

  • Heidi May 10, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Lisa – thank you!

    Taryn – thanks, lovely, hope you like it 🙂

    Lisa – I don't know, but I'll be trying the leftover portion tomorrow so I'll report back 😉 I expect it will be absolutely fine though.

    Michelle – me too, sort of – but they're delightful!

    Hannah – oh lordy that sounds frightening! Rug up, lovely! & yes, I quite enjoyed the novelty of using dried chickpeas 🙂 totally fine with canned though, usually I'm all about canned.

    Blithely Unaware – mmmm enjoy, sounds delicious! We had pumpkin soup last night & I still have 2 portions left in the freezer, score!

    wholesomecook – hehe yes I agree! Your lamb sounds beautiful 🙂

    Heidi xo

  • msihua May 10, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    SUCH a good time for this to be published too! The coldest May Day in a long time.. mmmm.. craving a bowl right now!~

  • Anonymous May 10, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Yummmmm…. I always have food envy reading your posts!! xx

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella May 10, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Oh my, isn't it soup weather or what? Actually I'm busy hoovering up soup and bread like it's going out of fashion. This looks wonderful!

  • chutneyandspice May 10, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    That looks so delicious, and I love the sound of the lemon twist. Its summer here but cold and windy so I would love to be tucking into a bowl of this for lunch, nothing beats a bowl of soup. Photo is lovely.

  • Jennifer (Delicieux) May 10, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    This looks wonderful! I love soup and I love the Moroccan spin with chickpeas. Yum!

  • Heidi May 10, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Msihua – hehe I know, right?!

    Anonymous – why thank you 🙂

    Lorraine – thanks! soup and bread rocks.

    chutneyandspice – thank you, how lovely!

    Jennifer – yes, the chickpeas were fabulous!

    Heidi xo

  • Margaret May 10, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    That looks divine and is so perfect for this time of year.
    It reminds me of June last year when I was on my way to a conference in the city. It was such a bitterly cold day and I was terribly under dressed. I was so cold that I was actually shaking (embarrassing!). When I arrived at the hotel I had a bowl of hot Moroccan carrot and chickpea soup and finally stopped shaking. That soup rescued me. 🙂

  • The InTolerant Chef May 10, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    The saffron is terrific in it, and the silverbeet at the end is just perfect!

  • tori May 11, 2011 at 12:50 am

    This looks perfect- we just got back from Morocco and I'm missing the spices already. This looks like just the thing to fix it. Thank you!

  • Heidi May 11, 2011 at 7:33 am

    Margaret – wow, what a story! That would have been the perfect thing to warm you up…

    InTolerant Chef – thanks, I really liked the silverbeet – it really does freshen everything up 🙂

    Tori – oh I miss Morocco too 🙁 hopefully I get to go again soon 🙂 you're welcome!

    Heidi xo

  • Indie.Tea May 11, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Our weather is warming up, and yours is cooling down 🙂 The soup looks very hearty and warming indeed…

  • Lenna May 11, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    I LOVE this soup. I actually love everything that involves chickpeas, but this soup is really something:)

  • Heidi May 11, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Indie.Tea – yes it must be getting into salad season for you now!

    Lenna – thank you 🙂 I love chickpeas too.

    Heidi xo

  • Lisa May 12, 2011 at 9:12 am

    I made this last night, delicious! I added some pumpkin as it needed to be used up and extra chickpeas as I really like them. I now wish I had made a double batch, it was just so delicious and warming on a Canberra day where the apparent temperature was -2!

  • Heidi May 12, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Lisa, I'm so thrilled you made this and enjoyed it! That has made my day 🙂
    Heidi xo

  • Iron Chef Shellie May 15, 2011 at 11:17 am

    I'm making a moroccon sweet potato soup today hopefully!

  • Anna Johnston May 15, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    I have set myself the task of filling the freezer with delicious soups to get me through the winter. This one is now top of the list. Sooooo good.

  • Heidi May 15, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    Michele – hope it turned out well!

    Anna – thank you! Yes, soup is just the thing in winter. I hope you enjoy the recipe 🙂

    Heidi xo

  • Elizabeth. May 22, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Just came across this, and it will be perfect for tomorrow as I won't even have to go to the supermarket! Well, we don't have any silverbeet, but baby spinach will suffice, right? I even have some fresh coriander to sprinkle on the top!

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