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Morrocan Chickpea and Harissa Soup

Eaten to break the fast, this soup will warm you with spice and harissa.

August 9, 2016

Morrocan Chickpea and Harissa Soup

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ingredients for eight

1 x head purple garlic
750gm Roma tomatoes
salt and pepper
1L chicken stock
400ml water
600gm cooked chickpeas
1½ tsp cumin seeds roasted then ground
1Tbsp harissa paste
3 Tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley
2 Tbsp finely chopped mint leaves
2 Tbsp diced red onion

extra virgin olive oil for frying, roasting and swirling


  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
  2. Slice ½ cm from top of garlic bulbs, drizzle with a little olive oil and wrap in double layer of foil.
  3. Cut tomatoes into quarters lengthwise, drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on baking tray with bundle of garlic and roast in oven for 30 minutes, or until garlic is soft and tomato is soft and coloured. Remove from oven and cool slightly.
  4. When cool enough to handle, unwrap and squeeze roasted garlic cloves from their skins. Discard skins and roughly chop flesh. Roughly chop tomatoes.
  5. In a large pot, bring stock, chickpeas, garlic and tomato to boiling point. Stir in cumin, 1½ teaspoons salt, ground black pepper and harissa then simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  7. Stir in mint, parsley and diced onion.
  8. Serve immediately swirled with a teaspoon or so of olive oil in each portion.

cooks notes

  • Dried chickpeas really make a difference in this soup. Ord River chickpeas have a good reputation for being tasty and of course are WA grown and produced.
  • Soak dried chickpeas in plenty of cold water (they expand on soaking) for 8 hours. As a rule of thumb, they swell to about twice the size and weight. So for example, 300gm dried chickpeas will yield 600gm. To cook, simmer chickpeas in unsalted water for 20 minutes, until tender. If salt added to water, it will toughen the outer skin and will prolong cooking time. Once drained use in various recipes.
  • The following can be added to the soup: coddled egg, shredded chicken, or crispy bacon/pancetta strips, depending on your preference.
  • This soup is commonly called Harira and is eaten in Morocco to break the fast of Ramadan at sunset.
  • This recipe is based on Chris Manfields recipe and we recommend using her Harissa Paste (available from good food stores).
  • If using Harissa from a tube, much less will be needed as this has a ‘blow your socks off’ chilli kick to it.
  • Read my blog on Harissa.

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Meet the team

Tracey Cotterell

Tracey Cotterell
Tracey Cotterell


Tracey has been in the food industry since completing her Diploma in Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management in 1982 in the UK. She worked for an outside catering company in London, then joined her parents in rural West Sussex running

View Tracey’s full profile.

Tracey Cotterell

Tracey Cotterell


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