Split Chick Pea Soup

Served with a slice of bread, this soup is a tasty wintertime dinner in itself. It only took me about 10 minutes to make plus an hour to simmer. Long cooking time cuts the sharpness of the Middle Eastern hot chili pepper paste, harissa, and mellows down the garlic as well.


My soup looks more liquid in the picture than it was in the real life, because the peas sunk to the bottom of the bowl while I was trying to focus my camera.

Harissa is an essential part of the taste, but I think it could be replaced with another spicy chili paste.

Here’s what I used:

  • 4 dl dried split chick peas (Chana Dal from the Asian store)
  • 2 onions, finely cubed
  • 4 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (or less) canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon harissa chili paste
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander seeds
  • 1 cube vegetable stock
  • 1 and 1/2 liters water
  • about 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • frozen parsley to garnish

I sautéed the onions on medium heat in the cooking pan until they were browned, and then added garlic and kept on frying until it had become translucent. Then I added Harissa paste and ground coriander, and fried them for a minute or so.

I had rinsed the split chick peas in 3 bowls of cold water, and now I just poured them in the pan, stirring to cover them with the spices. I added water and vegetable stock cube in the pan, and let the soup simmer until peas were soft, about one hour. Then I mashed some of the peas lightly with a wooden spoon to thicken the broth a little.

Before serving, I seasoned the soup with a little salt, added the lemon juice, and sprinkled our soup bowls with some parsley. It is best to add lemon juice gradually, one teaspoon at a time, since some lemons are more sour than others.

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