Spicy lamb & vegetable soup with chickpeas

Take a short cut when making the soup and add tinned chickpeas. Just rinse, add at the end and fold through to warm. The soup is also great with cooked white beans, borlotti beans or lentils. Cooked short pasta makes a welcome addition, too.


  • 75g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight (or you can use tinned chickpeas)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 300g trimmed lamb shoulder, diced into 2 1/2 cm pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 brown onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp smoky sweet paprika
  • 1 medium carrot, diced into 1 1/2 cm pieces
  • 1 small potato, diced into 1 1/2 cm pieces
  • 825ml chicken stock
  • Handful of coriander leaves, chopped
  • Handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • Lemon wedges, to serve


*Drain chickpeas and cover with cold water. Do not season. Bring water to boil and simmer, skimming off froth, until they are soft, about 1 hour. About 10 minutes before end of cooking, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Put chickpeas aside in their liquid.

Toast and grind the cumin and coriander seeds.

Heat olive oil in a deep saucepan on a high heat. Season and brown lamb pieces then remove and put to one side. Reduce heat and add garlic, onion and 1 tsp salt. Cook for 8 minutes then add ground spices, mustard seeds and paprika and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Return meat to pan, add carrot, stir, then cover with stock. Bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes, skimming any fat regularly.

Drain chickpeas and add to soup with the potato. Simmer for another 10 minutes, until potato is just cooked.

Check seasoning, ladle soup into soup bowls, garnish with freshly chopped herbs and serve with lemon wedges.

*If using tinned chickpeas, simply drain and add to the simmering soup to warm through before serving.

NOTES: Want something to drink?
Grown mostly in Austria, the grĂ¼ner veltliner grape is made into various white varieties. The Prager Hinter Der Burg 2011 has a white-pepper spiciness. The acidity on the finish chimes with the coriander and parsley, while providing a foil to the lamb's richness.

First published in the Good Weekend.

You may also like

  • 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Serves 2-3 as part of a shared banquet
  • 5 minutes