Moroccan Pumpkin, Chickpea and Tomato Soup Recipe

Moroccan soup with chickpeas, pumpkin and tomatoes
Moroccan Chickpea, Pumpkin and Tomato Soup. Aparna Balasubramanian/Moment Open/Getty Images
  • 35 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings

This satisfying vegetarian Moroccan soup with pumpkin and chickpeas is fragrant with Moroccan spices of saffron, ginger, cinnamon and Ras El Hanout. A small amount of honey adds just a touch of sweetness – omit or increase the honey to suit your own family's tastes.

The soup will come together quickly with cooked or canned chickpeas. Moroccans traditionally prefer to use dried chickpeas which will require soaking overnight and cooking ahead of time. If you also prefer the texture of home-cooked chickpeas over the canned, plan ahead so that you can soak, cook and freeze chickpeas to have on hand for this and other recipes.  

I like to garnish the soup with a few turns of freshly ground pepper and a little freshly grated nutmeg. Cayenne pepper might also be added.

What You'll Need

  • 1 lb./500 g fresh pumpkin (diced in 1/4" pieces)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups chickpeas (cooked or canned)
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro (small sprigs, tied into a bouquet)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 medium to large onion (chopped)
  • 1 to 2 tomatoes (peeled, seeded and chopped)
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 4 cups/1 liter vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Ras El Hanout
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • Pinch saffron threads
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Optional: dash nutmeg
  • Optional: 1 to 2 teaspoons corn starch (for thickening)

How to Make It

  1. In a small stock pot, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium-low heat until tender, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add the pumpkin, chickpeas, tomato, cilantro, broth, honey, spices and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer, partially covered, about 15 minutes, until the pumpkin is just tender. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick and cilantro.
  3. If you wish to thicken the broth a bit, transfer several spoonfuls of broth to a bowl and allow it cool slightly. Add one or two teaspoons of cornstarch to the cooled broth and stir until the mixture is smooth. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the soup and simmer for several more minutes, until the broth has thickened.
  1. Serve the soup hot or warm with a garnish of fresh cilantro and freshly ground pepper and nutmeg.