Chickpea soup (lablabi)

Good breakfast always ! Capers, chopped almonds, chopped olives, a dollop of yoghurt and some mint can all be added at the end, and the soup is commonly served ladled over cubes of yesterday’s baguette. Tuna is often added too, and there’s a (less common) version made with cow’s trotters.

Ingredients :

  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2tsp ground coriander
  • large pinch saffron
  • 1 tbsp harissa
  • 2 litre ( 8 cups ) chicken stock
  • 4 x 400g cans chickpeas , drained and rinsed
  • 4 tomatoes , cut into large pieces
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 4-6 eggs


Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, for 6 minutes or until softened. Add the cumin and coriander and saffron and cook, stirring, for another 3 minutes or until fragrant. Stir in the harissa then add the stock and chickpeas and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan then cook for about 10 minutes for flavours to develop. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 3 minutes or until tomatoes have just softened. 

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to a simmer and add the vinegar. Crack each egg into a saucer then add them, one at a time, to the simmering water. Cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes or until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Carefully remove each using a slotted spoon to a tray lined with kitchen paper to drain excess water.

Divide the hot soup among large bowls. Place an egg in each bowl. Scatter over coriander, capers and almonds. Serve with the baguette, extra harissa and lemon wedges to the side.