Sour Chickpea Soup is a chicken soup flavored with cumin and caraway seeds that is delicious any time of year. I updated these pictures in Summer 2020. The soup in the more recent photos were served over Basmati rice (it was all I had) and we used more rice, leading to a bulkier looking soup.
What was I saying about life getting in the way of blogging? Sorry for the delay on the promised soup; I got sick last week with a G.I. bug–food was the last thing I wanted to think about.
But now that I am thinking about it, I am very excited to share this Sour Chickpea Soup. I’m a little sad because I don’t feel like I could get a nice enough picture of it, one that really expresses how mouthwatering it was [note that has been rectified as of 2020]. Alex (she of the hyperbole) declared it “Your Best Soup EVER!!!!” and John and I loved it as well. It is quite unique, defying categorization, although perhaps that is the point of Marcus Samuelsson’s New American Table, from which it was taken. The caraway seeds are a particularly unique and surprisingly tasty touch. [While the kids were visiting my family in the summer of 2020, during a bit of a lull in the pandemic, this soup just seemed like the perfect dish for John and I. It is just as well we were out of couscous though because ten years later Alex is still head over heels for it and would have been pretty mad!]
Original photo from July 2010
Adapted from Marcus Samuelsson.
- 1 cup dried chickpeas
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 medium-large onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 t ground turmeric
- 1 t ground cumin
- 1 t mild chili powder (I used ground ancho the second time and it worked fine)
- 1 t caraway seeds
- 2 T white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 large ripe tomato, chopped
- 5 cups chicken stock (homemade or low sodium)
- 1/2 cup Israeli couscous*
- 1 T fresh chopped marjoram or 1 t dried (I only had dried both times)
- 1 cup plain whole fat Greek yogurt
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 T chopped parsley
Cook the dried chickpeas until nearly perfectly done, but still a little firm, by whatever method you prefer. In 2010 I had frozen chicken stock concentrate, so I actually cooked them in part of the chicken stock for the soup but in 2020 I cooked them in the instant Pot.
Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onions with a pinch of salt** and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
Add the chicken and brown it for about 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the turmeric, ground cumin, chili powder and caraway seeds, and stir to evenly coat the chicken. Add the vinegar and white wine and bring to a boil. Simmer briskly for 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Then add the chickpeas and chicken stock (only add the chickpea cooking liquid if you used chicken stock to cook them). Bring the soup to a boil and then let it simmer for 1 hour.
In the meantime, cook the couscous until al dente in a pot of boiling, salted water.
Add the marjoram to the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Turn the heat off and stir in the yogurt, parsley and lemon juice. Taste for more salt or lemon juice. Serve ladled over the couscous.
*The second time I made this, in the summer of 2020, I skipped the couscous, which I did not have, and ladled the soup over Basmati rice. This worked fine, but we definitely ended up eating more rice than we would have with couscous.
**When adding salt as you cook, keep in mind whether you are using a commercial chicken stock that has salt or a homemade chicken stock without salt.
Updated Photo from Summer 2020