Chickpea Battle

As part of Vegan Month of Food, the Vegan Mofo site has begun hosting weekly Iron Chef challenges. This week’s secret ingredient is chickpeas (dried, fresh, flour, hummus, etc.).

You can imagine the difficulty of creating a recipe that utilizes this extremely versatile legume that is present in so many different cuisines. I had a lot of fun with this challenge and am extremely happy with my outcome. I initially wanted to make a falafel-like pancake, but that was a big fail. When all else fails, you resort to soup, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

I used ingredients that were already in my pantry. Here’s a list of them and the substitutions you can make:

  • 1/2 cup dried chickpeas. I would recommend using more chickpeas.
  • 1 can of Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Chipotle Peppers. This can has been sitting in my pantry just waiting to be used. You can sub whatever canned tomatoes you have on hand, just add about 1-2 tablespoons of canned chipotle, diced. Or use smoked paprika if you don’t want the heat.
  • Besan Gram Flour. I bought this for a previous recipe, so it’s been sitting in the pantry unused. You can omit or use all-purpose flour.
  • Ground coriander. Either omit, or use fresh cilantro (add at the end).
  • Cumin seeds. Omit or use ground cumin.
  • Leeks. Omit or use diced onion.

Smoky Tomato Chickpea Soup

1 cup or more cooked or canned chickpeas, divided
1 14.5 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes, pureed (or left as is if you want a chunkier soup)
2 cups water
1½ teaspoons cumin seeds, divided
1-2 tablespoons besan gram flour (chickpea flour)
½ teaspoon ground coriander
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup leeks, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread, margarine, or oil
salt & pepper
fresh cilantro
Toast spices & flour:
  • Toast the cumin seeds in a dry pan until fragrant. Set aside.
  • Toast coriander and 1 tablespoon of flour in the dry pan until fragrant. Mix together with 1 teaspoon of the toasted cumin seeds & set aside.
  • Grind the remaining ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds in a mortar & pestle.
For roasted chickpeas (optional):
  • Preheat oven/toaster oven to 400°.
  • In a small bowl, drizzle olive oil over ½ a cup of the chickpeas.
  • Sprinkle ground cumin seeds, salt, & pepper  over the chickpeas and toss to coat evenly.
  • Transfer to a shallow baking pan & roast in oven until lightly browned & crunchy, stirring occasionally for about 35 minutes.
For soup:
  • Heat butter or oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add garlic & leeks, stirring until garlic is lightly browned & leeks are wilted.
  • Add spice-flour mixture & cook until fragrant (less than a minute), stirring frequently.
  • Add tomato puree & stir. Add about 2 cups of water. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  • Add chickpeas. Season with salt & pepper if needed.
  • Add more flour if you want a thicker soup.
Garnish with chopped roasted chickpeas & cilantro.



      • I finally bought some smoked paprika this weekend from Penzey’s Spices. It smells amazing and I can’t wait to use it! Any suggestions for stuff to use it in?

      • Awesome! Use it in anything! I usually like to add it to soups because it gives it a bacony flavor. Adding it to corn chowder is really good or anything potato based.

  1. this looks delicious! i think i will add some roasted poblanos, as i have some left over, and replace the flour with masa harina, i love how this thickens soups and adds that corn taste.

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