Spicy Chickpea and Potato Soup

Spicy Chickpea and Potato Soup

Spicy Chickpea and Potato Soup, with chilli, coriander and cumin seeds and fresh ginger

When I made this Spicy Chickpea and Potato Soup last night it was so good I had to double-check my recipe index on here (with lots of new thumbnails, btw) to make sure I hadn’t posted this already. Well, there are two other versions – sort of. However, this is the easiest. And for me it’ll be the one that will be cooked every week as it’s not always possible to buy fresh coriander (cilantro) here – and when I write fresh I don’t mean giving off gases as it’s so near to decomposing, as is often the case. This is also incredibly easy for me to cook as I can put several saucepans on and leave them, getting on with necessary editing and stuff. All I have to do is check periodically, and stir through occasionally. Then, when it’s ready, it’s simply a case of wolfing large bowls of this. Without any type of cream, I hasten to add. Phew! And it’s healthy. That means more banana cake, right!?

Spicy Chickpea and Potato Soup

Spicy Chickpea and Potato Soup


  • sunflower oil
  • 300g (10.58 oz) x onions, halved, peeled, trimmed, sliced quite thinly from near the root end to where the stem was, turned and root end cut off and discarded
  • 1 x large or 2 small dried bay leaves, split
  • 1 x medium green finger chilli (Scoville heat rating: 50,000), washed and kept whole or split if a spicier soup is needed (I split the chilli toward end of cooking time)
  • 1 x 300g or 180g drained weight (10.58 or 6.349 oz) can cooked chickpeas, well rinsed OR 100g (3.527 oz) x dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in plenty of cold water
  • 3 – 4 x organic garlic cloves, root end cut off and discarded, peeled and chopped
  • up to 400g (14.11 oz) x new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into fairly large chunks
  • 1 x tablespoon cumin seeds, dry roasted and freshly ground
  • 1/2 x tablespoon coriander seeds, dry roasted (separately) and freshly ground
  • 500ml (1.057 pint) x cold water + extra if needed
  • 1 x organic vegetable stock cube
  • 1/2 x teaspoon (packed) freshly grated ginger
  • seasoning, both freshly ground sea salt and black pepper

Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.


  • If using dried chickpeas/garbanzo beans they will need to be well rinsed before adding to a large saucepan with a lid and plenty of cold water. On electric heat No 4 (out of 6) bring to a boil, then take off heat and strain through a metal colander into a suitable bowl. Repeat this process another time. Then, with even more cold water bring to a boil for a third time, reduce heat to No 2 and simmer until cooked. Drain and set aside.
  • Put a heavy-based saucepan on electric heat No 3 (out of 6) and when pan is hot pour in a glug of oil. Add the onions, bay leaves and finger chilli pieces and plonk on a lid. I tend to be able to leave mine for around 15 minutes before needing to check on them, and stirring through. After that time I remove the lid and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until the onions start to turn a pale golden colour. Take off heat and set aside.
  • When the onions are nearly ready add the cooked chickpeas to a large saucepan with a little oil. Put on heat No 3 and add the chickpeas. When they start to take on a golden colour take off heat and add the garlic. Stir through. The heat of the pan should be sufficient to cook out the rawness of the garlic. Pour in the water with the stock cube and the potatoes and put back on heat No 4 with a lid on pan. Bring to near boiling point, stirring through occasionally to make sure the stock cube dissolves. Reduce heat to No 2 and simmer until the potatoes are cooked.
  • In the meantime dry roast the cumin seeds until they release their fragrance, on heat No 1 for about 5 or so minutes. Do not let them scorch. After grinding them to a powder add to the saucepan in the step above. Do the same for the coriander seeds.
  • Peel and grate the ginger and add directly to the soup on simmer, stirring through to combine. Add the onions and stir through. Allow several minutes for all of the flavours to infuse before tasting for any needed stock. Remove the bay leaf and the chilli pieces before serving.

All photographs within (Todas las fotografías dentro de) Kitschnflavours:
All rights reserved (© Todos los derechos reservados) – Copyright © Johnny Hepburn

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43 responses to “Spicy Chickpea and Potato Soup

  1. I can almost smell those fragrant spices. Chickpea’s take so well to spice and so do potatoes, What a lovely soup this is, healthful and comforting and easy to make. Really delicious Johnny!

  2. Oooooo – I could just eat a bowl of that right now. This looks absolutely up my alley. Will investigate your fig lovers’ board. Pinteresting…

    • Pinteresting…Love it!
      - The fig lover’s board was created by someone else. I’m still trying to figure out ways of using Pinterest other than looking/trawling through countless recipes. Getting involved in these boards might be fun :)

      • I’m on Pinterest but seriously – I have no idea why. I don’t understand how it works. And i have no clue how to find anyone. Do I just look you up by your name – or by your blog title? Never mind… I’ll go try for myself!

        • Hah! You found me. I’m the same. And only for being invited to the fig lover’s board recently I would be wondering why on earth am I not using Pinterest more often.
          - And I really must get links sorted for all of the Social Networking sites so they’re directly (and visibly) under comments on my posts. I even bookmarked a page/post that explains how to do that. Huh, I’m still having probs with using FB!? Go figure.

  3. A beautiful soup full of flavour and fragrance – exactly what I feel like eating right now!

  4. I love your soups, they are the perfect comfort meals! I just want to grab a bowl, sit in front of the telly and munch away… yum!

    • You always leave such wonderful comments! Thank you. This soup is kind of comforting, admittedly. Especially here at night as temperatures dip quite drastically by the coast. Yes, perfect for supping in front of the telly. Which I would find difficult as I don’t have one! Sometimes I do miss just vegging out and flicking channels :)

  5. Sounds very interesting!

  6. Fig & Quince

    I don’t know if it’s the recipe or your photography but either way this soup looks so incredibly inviting. It feels more like winter fare but no matter, I’d definitely gobble it up and lick the spoon too when done, I suspect. AND leave room (& clear conscience) for banana cake! :)

    • It’s both! You’ll just have to believe me. It’s not often that there’s a recipe I want to make a couple of days later – usually I’m far too fickle for that, he said with much emphasis on fickle. Hmm…
      - You just might have to fight me for the banana cake. Hold on, if you’re eating that much cake you might be bigger than I am!! You can have it!

  7. I’m with the others, the perfect winter soup, good thing it’s winter here.

    I’m not on pinterest yet, or twitter. Or have a “media presence” on FB.. To be or not to be a Luddite, that is the question!

    • Wouldn’t have thought it! You? A Luddite?? Okay, only teasing. In many ways I am as well. I’ll register with new sites, like Pinterest. Then wonder how on earth do I use this. As for using it to my benefit – well, that’s much further down the line.
      - This soup is surprisingly light. Not perhaps in flavour. But it’s certainly a soup I would happily sup all year. I don’t say/write that often :)

  8. Have you tried growing the coriander? Just need a pot.

    • I would if there wasn’t a slight hitch. My south-facing windows only open lower half and outwards. So, I have to grow small pots on a very thin window ledge inside. I’ve tried with those ‘living pots’ you can buy but with the coriander it tasted of nothing much!

      • We have grown some indoors by the window that didn’t open. As long as it was warm enough and got enough light. In the winter we use grow lamps. We have to use tables as our ledges are quite thin as well.

        • I’ve sort of inherited a small table I found near the communal bins (my life is that glamorous, these days!) that could be used. I might still try germinating seeds of the finger chillies I keep using. Okay, they probably won’t do much this year but they might produce loads next :)

        • I’ve sort of inherited a small table I found near the communal bins (my life is that glamorous, these days!) that could be used. I might still try germinating seeds of the finger chillies I keep using. Okay, they probably won’t do much this year but they might produce loads next :)

  9. This is healthy and banana cake must also be healthy! Thanks for sharing me your link today :)

    • Pleasure! What with the strawberry sauce, coulis and compotes I’ve been making during summer the next step is…ta-dah, jams. Will hopefully be making a fresh ginger and citrus over the weekend. Fingers crossed!

  10. I’ve been catching up on all your posts that I have missed. I can see why you would want this soup once a week…me too.

  11. Sounds very delicious! thanks for sharing.

  12. Wow. This does look very easy. Absolutely love the ingredients in this soup. I can see myself putting this together for us for lunch tomorrow. The potatoes seems to be a nice texture to have in here as well as a good flavor absorber. Love this one.

    • This is easier than the one you made. Because of that it’ll hopefully be a go-to soup. I’ve made it again recently and included blanched and pan-fried cauliflower, which was good. Quite honestly, I’ll probably stick to the version on here. Exactly how this would taste during winter when all I can buy are white or ‘old’ potatoes I’ll have to wait and find out. Cooking new potatoes within the soup itself is, of course, going to add more flavour.

  13. I just made this for dinner, coriander and all! Fantastic! Thanks for sharing :)

    • Thanks for the feedback! Absolutely thrilled with that. Have to admit, I made this again last week and maybe, just maybe I missed an ingredient or two. I’ve had awful dental problems with its customary lack of sleep. Anyway, I didn’t like that I couldn’t grind the coriander seeds enough – really needs to be a fine powder for this. Plus, I didn’t have fresh coriander. That amazing herb really does seem to pull the flavours here, regardless of how simple they are, together. Oh, and I didn’t have a fresh finger chilli to hand either. One of those weeks :) Glad you enjoyed it!

  14. Pingback: Roasted Tomato and Coconut Soup – Learning to Appreciate Coriander | Food Daydreaming

  15. You know I absolutely adore this recipe!! I love your blog and I am passing along the Blog of the Year 2013 Award to you. As usual, participation is optional. If interested, please visit this link: http://fooddaydreaming.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/awards/

    • I’m thrilled with both your nomination and that you like this soup! Actually, like my caramelised onion and thyme bread I haven’t made this is a while. Must! Especially as I replenished my cumin seeds yesterday. And managed to buy coconut oil for the first time in years. And that should make a slight difference. Will update post if that happens :)

      Thanks again for the nomination. And congrats on yours!

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