chickpea and leek soup recipe

chickpea + leek soup

I'm feeling way better than I did a few days ago. I've been drinking loads of my lemon rosemary tea and clearing my sinuses with this, but Si's still been complaining that I'm keeping him awake with my constant dry cough all night long. I've been so tired it hasn't even been waking me up, but the nudge usually comes in at around 2am, a short sharp pang to the ribs, followed by a somewhat grumpy get a damn cough lolly would ya. I awake in the morning with that lovely furry mouth-feel and wonder how it is that I can still have a teeny little bit of lozenge on my tongue after all those hours of sleep?

I don't know what it is but after hot lemon honey, like most people, I then crave soup when I'm sick. There's loads of studies that have been done to prove that chicken soup does actually speed up recovery of the common cold, but I don't reckon you need the chicken, just delete the en and add in pea and you have yourself a nourishing, warming, tasty chickpea and leek soup instead. 

I've been wanting to play around with this soup idea for the past few weeks. Leeks are everywhere at the moment and with just a handful of pantry staples you can throw this together in very little time. I prefer to soak and cook the chickpeas myself whenever possible, but should you only have tinned ones to work with this could come together in as little time as it takes for you to toast and butter some bread.

I like to slather on some extra olive oil to serve but if you feel like it (and tolerate) I imagine some shavings of parmesan or pecorino cheese could take this soup to the next level.

What do you crave when you aren't feeling well?

chickpea + leek soup

chickpea and leek soup

If you are using tinned chickpeas, drain and rinse them well and just use 1 litre of fresh water in place of the cooking liquor. Don't be tempted to use the manky brine they come in.
serves 4-6

  • 1 1/2 cups (approx 250g) dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in plenty of water and a pinch of baking soda (or you could use approx 3 cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained well)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
  • 1 large leek, washed well and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • gluten-free soy sauce or white miso paste, to taste, optional
Drain soaked chickpeas and give them a quick rinse, tip into a large pot and cover generously with fresh cold water. Bring to the boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the top. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 25-45 minutes or until chickpeas are soft. Drain and reserve cooking liquor. 
Meanwhile heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add sliced leeks and garlic and cook while stirring for 5-8 minutes or until leeks are really tender and sweet. Add in ground coriander and cook for a further minute until fragrant. Season well with sea salt and black pepper. Add in cooked chickpeas (approx 4 cups once cooked) and top the reserved cooking liquor up with cold water to make 1 litre (4 cups). Add to the chickpeas and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes then either using a stick blender or food processor blend half of the soup roughly before adding back into the remaining soup to thicken. Taste and season well with sea salt and black pepper, adding a touch of gluten-free soy sauce or white miso paste if desired to give it a more full bodied flavour. Serve hot.

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  • Reply
    July 27, 2012 at 6:30 am

    Just what I need today. Thanks!

  • Reply
    leaf (the indolent cook)
    July 27, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Glad that you're feeling better. That soup looks so comforting, and I adore the serving bowl.

  • Reply
    July 27, 2012 at 9:25 am

    I'm sorry you have been so sick. Those dry coughs are just the pits. I'm not great on chickpeas but the leek part of this soup looks divine, and I've just eaten so that's saying something.

  • Reply
    The InTolerant Chef
    July 27, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Delicious indeed, I'm so glad you're on the mend. I need a good soup when I'm ill, I usually go for a Thai style chicken and corn. The trouble its I usually feel to crappy to make it when I really need it 🙂

    • Reply
      July 27, 2012 at 11:55 am

      Haha, I hear ya. If we were really onto it we'd stock the freezer full of sick-day-soup wouldn't we? But really, who's that organised? 🙂

  • Reply
    July 27, 2012 at 10:00 am

    I often add kelp to thinks soups and stews – feel like that helps with boosting the nutrients? Very 70s!

    PS I love your Friday night (NZ time) posts…sadly I'm usually at home at that time 😉

    • Reply
      July 27, 2012 at 11:58 am

      Kelp! Yes! When I was little we'd drown all our soups with kelp and nutritional yeast. God that brings back memories 🙂

      p.s It's been way to many years since I actually had a social life that extends to venturing out in the evening, I'm always home Friday nights too 🙂

  • Reply
    July 27, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Aww nasty flu and coughs Ive had it too, big downer. Still your soup sounds delicious …. two vegies I love

  • Reply
    July 27, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    My kids favorite soup is chicken noodle soup without the chicken.Usually gets a giggle from people.A big bowl of rice noodles with a miso broth and whatever vegies in the fridge soup is what they actually get.Can not make my oldest eat a chickpea,he aways has a pile beside his plate.

  • Reply
    Angry Asian
    July 27, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    i hope you are well on your way to a full recovery! i've been having issues with dried anything recently. i've never heard of the pinch of baking soda in the overnight soak water before. does that help in the softening of the chickpeas? and would this trick help with other dried stuff like black beans?

    typically when i'm sick i crave chao (rice porridge) with lots of ginger + black pepper.

    • Reply
      July 28, 2012 at 6:06 am

      Oh yum, I love chao, so do my kids.
      Re: baking soda, I've always added a pinch to the soaking water of chickpeas. Some people add a little pinch to the water when cooking them too, but I find they can go too mushy so just add it to my soaking water. It helps to soften them and I have a feeling it makes them more digestible too, although don't quote me on that. I've not tried it with other beans, but I don't see the harm in trying. xx

  • Reply
    July 27, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    I'm sorry to hear you've been sick – those dry coughs are awful and can take so long to go away. Sounds like you are taking good care of yourself with lots of tea and this delicious soup – love chickpeas and leeks. We like Greek egg-lemon soup with rice quite a bit, and if I have a cold I crave something spicy like hot and sour soup. Hope you are all better soon!

  • Reply
    This American Bite
    July 27, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    I loved this post and have included it in my July 2012 roundup of meatless meals. Thanks for the fresh approach and the inspiration! It's rare that I'll make soup this time of year but I sure plan to now!

  • Reply
    July 28, 2012 at 2:28 am

    You could have been describing our week, right down to the cough lollies! On the worst sleepless night I couldn't stop thinking about the lemon rosemary tea I had read on your post the previous day! I will try the soup this coming week. Thanks.

  • Reply
    July 28, 2012 at 10:27 am

    I have the lurgy too, I blame all the airline travel lately, I'll have to wipe p some soup too, yours look very soothing.

  • Reply
    Treble Tart
    July 28, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Perfect!! I can't wait to try this amazing soup. 🙂

  • Reply
    July 30, 2012 at 2:48 am

    I hope you feel better soon Emma. Lovely soup, simple and nourishing.

  • Reply
    July 30, 2012 at 3:52 am

    I am glad to learn there is another option apart from Chicken soup when I am down with a flu. This chickpea and leek soup looks really soothing and comforting. I'd love to try soonest.
    Anyhoo, we have just recently launched a food photo submission site, that allows you to showcase all your great work and share it with all of our visitors. Your phenomenal photos have caught our attention. We’d be proud to have your work as part of our growing collection to continue to have a larger reach and further inspire all fellow food lovers out there! (sorry for the blatant shameless plug)!

  • Reply
    Debs @ The Spanish Wok
    July 30, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Hope you are back to normal health very soon. This delicious soup should help.

    You are welcome to join in my monthly food blogger event THE SOUP KITCHEN, here for entry details and current theme offering a new theme each month. All bloggers are welcome, hope to see you participate soon.

  • Reply
    erin @ yummy supper
    July 30, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Emma, I hope you are feeling better!
    Well… I love soup any time of year, but especially when I'm sick. A classic chicken variety always seems to do the trick, but I would imagine your yummy leek and chickpea would be great medicine!

  • Reply
    Kare @ Kitchen Treaty
    July 30, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    This looks so terrific! Pretty, delicious, simple. Glad you are on the mend. Sickies are no fun.

  • Reply
    Lizzie - Strayed from the Table
    July 31, 2012 at 7:55 am

    IF I was feeling sick, I would definitely love a bowl of your chickpea and leek soup. Though I am a sucker for beef and barley.

  • Reply
    August 3, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Simple, tasty and healthy! Just the way I like to have my soup. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  • Reply
    Ragini Sharma
    September 1, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Ohhh My God Thais is so good recipe. Thank you for sharing this with us.
    Joint Replacement India

  • Reply
    cdm coordinator
    December 13, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Very easy to make with ingredients that are on hand and very healthy.

  • Reply
    January 7, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Tried this last night & loved it!!! THANKS!

    • Reply
      January 8, 2014 at 12:34 am

      Yay! Cheers for letting me know xx

  • Reply
    April 12, 2015 at 5:01 am

    Thank you! I have been looking for a soup recipe that incorporates miso paste and I think Ihave just found it! Going to cook it today for lunch tomorrow:)

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