Recipe: Soup of Israel (chickpea, carrot and seasonal vegetable soup)

chickpea and vegetable soup, great dixter recipe

A filling and nourishing chickpea soup that will quickly become a family favourite.

Extracted from Grow Fruit & Vegetables in Pots by Aaron Bertelsen   Photos: Andrew Montgomery

I love to eat this hearty soup for lunch, with some bread and cheese. It is a perfect early spring soup, inspired by my travels to Israel and the simple soups made by my friends Lior and Ayala, who live in Jerusalem. They have taken over the garden square that they share with neighbours, where they grow a mix of fruit, vegetables and flowers. As with many soups, the vegetables can be changed with the season, to make the most of whatever is plentiful and delicious at the time.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 40–55 minutes
Serves 4–6


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large leek, trimmed and cut into 1-cm/½-inch slices
2 cloves garlic, crushed (minced)
1 teaspoon coarse (kosher) sea salt
3 carrots, trimmed, scrubbed and diced
1 celeriac (celery root), peeled and diced, and the leaves (if you have them) finely chopped
2 potatoes, scrubbed and diced
3 large tomatoes, diced
2 x 400-g/14-oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 bay leaf
1.2 litres/2 pints (5 cups) vegetable stock (broth)
juice of 1 lemon
25 g/1 oz (½ cup) chopped flat-leaf parsley


Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat, add the leek, garlic, salt and some pepper and cook the vegetables gently for 5–10 minutes until they start to release their juices. Add the carrots, celeriac (celery root), potatoes, tomatoes, chickpeas and bay leaf and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the stock (broth), bring up to a simmer and cook for 30–40 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Do this with the lid off, so the soup reduces slightly and the flavours are concentrated.

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Extracted from Grow Fruit & Vegetables in Pots: Planting advice & recipes from Great Dixter by Aaron Bertelsen, Phaidon, RRP AUD$49.95. Photography © Andrew Montgomery, 2019


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