Creamy Carrot and Chickpea Soup


By Freya Bellin

One of the cold weather staples in my kitchen is a good, hearty soup — the kind that needs only a thick slice of bread to make itself a meal.  This carrot and chickpea soup fits right into that category: it has relatively few ingredients, takes only about 30 minutes of active cook time, and is completely satisfying as a main dish.   The smoked paprika smells amazing bubbling in a stock pot for hours.  My chickpeas soaked for about 3 hours before I added them to the stock, and it required about 2 hours cooking time to soften them.  If you remember, try soaking the beans overnight to reduce that time.  Plus, you can reuse the soaking liquid – I used 2 cups of chickpea liquid and 4 cups of vegetable stock for the 6 cups of liquid needed. I ate a few bites of the soup before I pureed it and it’s as good chunky as it is smooth. Recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.

Creamy Carrot and Chickpea Soup

Makes: 4 servings

Time: 1 to 2 hours, largely unattended

Chickpeas require quite a bit of cooking time (which can be shortened if you soak them first), but since chickpea broth is one of the most delicious liquids you can make, it’s worth it. I like to puree this Spanish-style soup, which makes it so smooth and rich you’ll swear there’s cream in it, but you can skip that step and serve it rustic style.

1⁄4 cup olive oil

2 onions, chopped

1 pound carrots, chopped

2 tablespoons minced garlic

Salt and black pepper

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons pimenton (smoked paprika)

6 cups vegetable or chicken stock or water, plus more as needed

1 cup dried chickpeas, rinsed, picked over, and soaked if you have time

1 cup orange juice

1⁄4 cup chopped almonds, for garnish

Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

1. Put the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat; a minute later, add the onions, carrots, and garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as needed to keep the vegetables from burning, until the onions and carrots have colored, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the cumin and paprika and cook, stirring, for another 30 seconds or so.

2. Add the stock and chickpeas. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down so the mixture bubbles gently but steadily. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas are very soft, at least 1 hour; add more liquid as necessary so the mixture remains soupy.

3. When the chickpeas are very tender, add the orange juice, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Carefully puree the soup in batches in a blender or in the pot with an immersion blender. (You can make the soup ahead to this point. Refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for months; gently reheat it before proceeding.) Serve garnished with the almonds and parsley.

Posted in Recipes


  1. Kevin Keating said...

    Would using canned chickpeas be a really bad idea? How would you modify to use those, if it’s possible?

  2. Kathryn Ringer said...

    We are expecting a cool down this week. This recipe sounds like just the ticket to warm me up! I look forward to the aroma and the taste!

  3. Julie Anne Rhodes said...

    Quadruple batches of this soup coming right up, yum! Worth the effort if you cool and freeze some for another cold autumn night.

  4. wattydave said...

    I bet this would work well with peeled fava beans too, which also have a delicious broth and don’t take as long to cook.

  5. Freya Bellin said...

    I don’t think canned chickpeas would be a bad idea… you’d just want to add them at the very end, only to warm them through. Maybe 10 or 15 minutes.

  6. Kathryn Ringer said...

    I made this for dinner this evening and it was tasty and very filling. Tomorrow I’ll make some hummus for the first time with extra chickpeas. Any suggestions on technique or seasonings would be great!

  7. Sarah Duve said...

    Exactly how pronounced is the orange flavor supposed to be? After adding it I thought it was so strong I ended up adding a lot more pimenton as well as a bit of cumin to round out the flavor. Is that what he meant by adjust seasoning, or was that just supposed to be salt and pepper?

  8. kathrynringer said...

    <html><body style="word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; -webkit-line-break: after-white-space; ">Wow, you must have had very flavorful orange juice. &nbsp;The juices from my oranges did not add an overwhelming orange flavor so I did not have to adjust the seasonings at the end. &nbsp;I took the comment to adjust seasonings as meaning adding whatever seasoning you feel is needed, along with salt and pepper.<br><div><div></div></div></body></html>

  9. Sarah Duve said...

    Okay, this was probably stupid, but since it just called for "orange juice" and didn’t say anything about freshly squeezing such-and-such number of oranges, I used Tropicana….I’m guessing that explains it.

  10. thelandanimal said...

    Mark, you magnificent bast*rd! I was wowed by this last week and the leftovers that were frozen since are now wowing me again.

  11. Elizabeth I. Rathbun said...

    Sorry, I tried this soup and was dissappointed. It seemed to be boring and lacking something. I added a little red pepper, cinnamon and a little more paprika and roasted pumpkin seeds on top instead of almonds.

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