Easy vegan chickpea harissa soup is the healthy, plant-based recipe to turn to when you want flavorful soup, but the clock replies, 'no way.'
The 'ease' in an easy soup
If you have harissa paste, better yet, you used our red pepper harissa recipe to make your own, Congratulations! You are 30 minutes to a flavorful chickpea soup.
Harissa paste is a roasted red pepper paste that can range in spiciness from the barely noticeable to the ‘make ya sweat’ kind.
What isn’t barely noticeable about harissa paste is the flavor. It’s bold with hints of garlic and lemon. Most paste blends you’ll find are spiced with cumin, caraway, and coriander. Look for harissa paste in the international sections of supermarkets or where you find the Thai curry pastes. Don’t make that substitution. It won’t be the same.
Harissa paste is traditionally vegan, but many will contain oil. If you try to exclude added oil from your diet, I have the solution. Make it yourself. That’s one of the reasons why I developed my own recipe.
If all else fails and you can find harissa paste, try a ground harissa spice blend. Start with 1 tablespoon and adjust as the soup cooks.
Once you have the harissa paste figured out, here’s everything you’ll need:
1 Onion – go for the traditional yellow, but red will work in a pinch.
2 medium Carrots – you want about 1 cup of diced carrots if you use baby carrots or a ready bag.
Garlic – I’m emphasizing the easy – 6 cloves of garlic means, get the garlic press. No one should be mincing that much garlic. Of course, if that’s your jam, go for it.
Cumin – Despite the harissa having cumin, add more. The earthiness is a perfect match for the rest of the ingredients.
Chickpeas – Surprise! Or not, it’s chickpea soup. Use cans if you can because we’re going to dump them in undrained.
We’ll strategically use the liquid from the canned chickpea, called aquafaba, to add flavor and thicken the soup.
Don’t forget this trick – it’s one I use for soups and stews. Heck, I use the liquid from white beans to thicken Greek baked beans. It’s amazing!
Lemon juice – Use fresh lemon or grab a squeezy bottle, but don’t skip the lemon juice. It freshens up the soup. We used extra at the table, and if you don’t plan for garnishes to top the soup, a bit of lemon will do the trick.
Tips for making this soup
- If you want to make this soup even easier, replace the carrots with 1 cup of frozen vegetables. Use a mixture, frozen carrots, or whatever you happen to have in one of those open bags.
- Toss in a handful of chopped spinach or kale at the end of the cooking process for a touch of green and nutrition hype.
- If you forget or you have pre-cooked chickpeas and no aquafaba, add 1 more cup of vegetable broth.
- To make a thicker soup, scoop out 1 cup or more of the soup, and use your blender to puree it. Then add it back to the soup pot.
- Add a drop of date paste, agave syrup, or another healthy liquid sweetener if the soup is too spicy.
Chickpeas are highly nutritious. They are high in fiber and protein, contain no saturated fat, and are naturally gluten-free.
Freeze this soup, without additional toppings, in a tightly sealed container for up to 3 months.
Use the cooking liquid from chickpeas, aquafaba, or pureed chickpeas to thicken soups, stews, and sauces.
If the flavor of your soup is not bold enough, try adding additional harissa paste or cumin. You and also explore different spices such as smoked paprika or chili powder. Using vegetable broth adds seasoning and richness that water won’t.
Top it off
Make the most of this soup by adding fun toppings. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Toasted bread cubes or croutons.
- Avocado slices
- Olives – just a few on top, black, green, whatever you happen to have
- Chopped herbs such as cilantro (coriander), parsley, mint, or basil
- Lemon wedges
- Harissa paste on the side. Add a dollop of harissa paste for a spicier kick.
- Vegan parmesan – try a sprinkle of our hemp seed parmesan if you want something savory and cheesy.
A few quick soup recipes can be the difference between you reaching for an unhealthy snack. Arm yourself with a few ingredients that you can call on in a pinch and learn easy methods to make something quick. That could well be the difference between sticking to your nutrition goals and getting distracted.
A few cans of chickpeas, harissa paste in the pantry or freezer, a bag of frozen veggies. Never let the clock come between you and healthy eating. Peace.Print
easy chickpea harissa soup
Easy chickpea harissa soup is the healthy, plant-based recipe to turn to when you want flavorful soup, but the clock replies, 'no way.'
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Soups & Stews
- Cuisine: North African
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and pressed
- 1 - 2 Tbsp. harissa paste
- 1 Tbsp. cumin
- 3 - 15 oz. (400 gm.) cans of chickpeas (don’t drain them)
- 1 ½ cups of vegetable broth or water
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- Heat a medium soup pot to medium-high heat.
- Add the onions and carrots and suttee them until they begin to soften (5-8 minutes).
- Add the garlic, harissa paste, and cumin and stir to cover the onions and carrots (about 30 seconds).
- Add the chickpeas and their liquid directly into the pot and add the vegetable broth.
- Stir and allow the soup to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Turn it off the heat and add the lemon juice.
- Serve with your favorite toppings such as toasted bread cubes, additional harissa paste, lemon wedges, olives, or vegan hemp parmesan.
- Make your own red pepper harissa paste or look for it in bigger supermarkets or specialty shops. You can also use harissa seasoning along with a teaspoon of tomato paste as a substitution.
- If you find the soup too thin, try scooping up a cup of the simmering soup and using your blender to puree it, then adding it back into the soup.
- Soup too spicy, try calming it down with a teaspoon of agave syrup, date paste, or another liquid sweetener.
Keywords: chickpea harissa soup