Chickpea and Couscous Soup
Chickpea and Couscous Soup is a nutritious and hearty dish that is full of flavors and textures. Chickpeas and Couscous cooked together with veggies like carrots, spinach and tomatoes and flavored with spices cumin, coriander, cloves and cinnamon. The soup is popular as a part of Levantine Cuisine but has so much similar Indian flavors because of the common ingredients (spices) used in both the cuisines.
What is Levantine Cuisine??
Levantine Cuisine refers to the food of the Levant countries that includes Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria. In Arabic known as the Bilad ash-Sham and Mashriq(source.. Wiki.) it covers a large part of Eastern Mediterranean. Levantine cuisine is one the healthiest cuisine due to the use of lots of nuts, chickpeas and vegetables and fruits. Common ingredients of the Cuisine are..Chickpeas, tahini, feta cheese, halloumi, aubergine/eggplant/brinjal, peppers, zucchini, olives, pomegranates, mint, lemon and yogurt. The spices used in the cuisine are very much similar to Indian cuisine like cumin, cloves, coriander, sumac(lemon flavored spice).This cuisine has so many dishes perfect for the vegetarians and vegans.
Levantine Cuisine is the theme for our #181Foodie Monday Bloghop group. This wonderful theme was suggested by Sujata Shukla who blogs at PepperonPizza. A wonderful soul and a knowledge bank for many of us who is always there to share her experiences and knowledge about the blogging world!! Visit her wonderful blog where she has some amazing recipes for everyone.
Levantine Cuisine(Dishes and main Ingredients used)
Levantine Cuisine is full of so many wonderful dishes that when this theme was finalized, I was in a fix what to make. There are breads like Pita and flavored Zaatar bread that I wanted to bake, then the famous Babuosa(Egyptian Cake), dips, salads and many other were in my mind. Falafel, Hummus and Tzatziki are our family favorites and are already on the blog. Click on the links for the recipes. I decided to go with this Chickpea and Couscous soup. This soup is a right combination of ingredients that are perfect for this cold and chilly weather. We paired the soup with store-bought Pita Chips. It was comforting and filling treat for all of us. A perfect meal for the times when you need something quick wholesome and comforting!!
The main Ingredients of this Healthy, Vegan soup are Chickpeas and Couscous(Israeli Couscous) with Tomatoes , Carrots , Spinach and spices for flavour.
Chickpeas form an important part of Indian cuisine especially in the North Indian Cuisine. It is one of the richest sources of proteins for the vegetarians and vegans all over the world. Couscous is a kind of pasta made from Durum Wheat and Semolina. It is fat- free and sugar and is a good source of selenium. I have recently started using couscous in salads and soups. For a gluten-free version, you can use a gluten-free couscous variety or omit couscous.
This nutritious soup can be cooked on stove-top in a pressure cooker and in Instant Pot also. This time I cooked it Instant Pot. It is a kind of dump(all ingredients) and cook kind of recipe. No need to cook couscous separately, it's a kind of One-Pot-Meal!! All you need is some boiled chickpeas to shorten the cooking time. There are many recipes for the Chickpea soup but I have adapted this recipe per my family's taste. I am sure you will also this version for simple but hearty Chickpea and Couscous Soup.
Let's see how I made this comforting Chickpea and Couscous Soup!!
Chickpea and Couscous Soup
- 11/2 Cup Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans 1 Can/15 Oz
- 1/4 Cup Israeli Couscous
- 2-3 Tomatoes
- 1 Carrot(diced)
- 1 Cup Spinach Leaves
- 1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Onions
- 2-3 Garlic Cloves
- 1" Ginger Piece
- 1/2 Tsp Cumin Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Coriander Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
- 2-3 Cups Vegetable Stock or Water
- 1 Tsp Lemon Juice
- 1-2 Tsp Olive Oil/any flavourless oil
- 3-4 Peppercorns
- 3-4 Cloves
- 1 Cinnamon(Small stick)
- Drain Chickpeas. If using pre-boiled chickpeas(use 1 1/2 Cup).
- Cube Carrots and roughly chop 1 tomato. Puree the other 2. Crush garlic and ginger in mortar and pestle.
Instant Pot Method
- Set the Instant Pot on saute mode(high) for 10 mins. When the screen shows hot sign, add oil.
- Add crushed ginger and garlic. Saute for 1-2 minutes.
- Add finely chopped onions and saute till onions turn light pink.
- Add finely chopped tomato, tomato puree, carrots, spices and chickpeas and couscous.
- Add water/vegetable stock and salt and mix everything nicely. Add the spinach leaves.
- Cancel the saute mode. Put the cover and lock it.
- Set the Soup mode on on high for 8 minutes.
- Once the timer goes off, release the pressure, open the lid and check the soup.
- Mash some chickpeas using a masher or the ladle, add serve hot. A tsp of lemon juice to the soup perks up the flavour!!
Stove-top Pressure Cooker Method
- Do all the preparation as per the above steps, when ready to cook heat pressure cooker on medium flame.
- Add oil, saute ginger and garlic paste, add onions, once onions turn light pink, add all the ingredients along with the spices and water/vegetable stock , close the lid and cook the soup till 2-3 whistles.
- Once the pressure goes down, open the lid, mash chickpeas and adjust the seasoning and water and serve hot.
- Remember to take out cinnamon stick before serving.
- Israeli Couscous is made of wheat and semolina , for a gluten-free version use an gluten-free couscous like amaranth couscous.
- Israeli Couscous( also known as Pearl Couscous) if different from Moroccan Couscous which is bigger pearls.
- You can any other vegetables of your choice like zucchini or butternut squash or pumpkin.
- Kale can be used in stead of Spinach.
- I have used whole spices like cloves, cinnamon and peppercorns. There are recipes that suggest using the powdered spices. Use any as available.
- Garnish soup with Parsley it adds a nice flavor to it. I didn't use it as I didn't have it this time.
- I boiled the chickpeas at home. You can use a can chickpeas or soak some chickpeas for 5-6 hrs. Boil in the pressure cooker or Instant Pot for 10-15 minutes and use accordingly.
- I use fresh tomatoes in my recipes, you can use canned tomatoes as per your convenience,
- Time to cook the soup is 8 minutes, it takes 7-8 minutes extra for pressure to build up in Instant pot so the total cook time is 15-20 minutes.
Do try this hearty soup and give let me know how you liked it!! I will love to see the pics on any of my social media pages..FB or tag me on Instagram(#foodtrails25) whenever your try. You can also Pin the recipe for later use.
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