Recipe: Spicy lamb and chickpea soup

Today I’m back in the kitchen creating a spicy lamb and chickpea soup. More one-pot cooking just for you.

I’m always inspired by the fresh ingredients I encounter on my travels and I’ve recently got back from another lovely visit to the Murcia region of Spain. There’s a fabulous market in the fishing village of Cabo de Palos that sells pretty much everything – including a wonderful array of fresh produce. I bought a large bag of garlic bulbs there for €1 (I know, what a bargain!) so because of that I’ve been on a quest to create dishes including this delicious ingredient.

Another Spanish staple I love are the wonderful chickpeas (garbanzo) you can buy bottled in the supermarket. They’re so versatile and this version is easy to cook with – ready to go straight into the pot – no need for remembering to give them that overnight soak. Even more convenient.

So with that in mind I’ve created this delicious soup, which also includes a little bit of Moroccan inspiration in the spicy harissa. It adds a lovely flavour and kick of heat. And everything goes in one pot, making for practically no washing up.  Oh and if you’re vegetarian, simply leave out the lamb, it tastes just as good. You should certainly give it a try.

Spicy lamb and chickpea soup

Serves 4

Recipe: Spicy lamb and chickpea soup

A deliciously rich and satisfying bowl of soup

The ingredients

2 onions, peeled and finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped

3cm piece of ginger, finely chopped

500g lamb neck fillet, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground tumeric

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsps harissa

2 tbsps tomato puree

500g vegetable stock

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

400g tinned or bottled chickpeas, drained

The process

Heat the olive oil in large saucepan over a low heat and fry the onions, carrots, garlic and ginger for about 10mins until softened.

Add the lamb and cook for another 10 mins.

Stir in the cumin, turmeric, cinnamon coriander and tomato puree, making sure the meat is well coated.

Add the vegetable stock, tinned tomatoes and drained chickpeas. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer on low for 1 hour.

Remove the lid and cook on low for another 30mins to reduce the soup to a thicker consistency.

This is a substantial enough dish to serve on its own, but it also works well with warmed pitta breads for dipping satisfaction.

Recipe: Spicy lamb and chickpea soup

The soup bubbling away on the stove top

Don’t worry if you’re not going to Spain – you can even buy the Spanish bottled chickpeas in supermarkets. There’s so much you can do with them.

Recipe: Spicy lamb and chickpea soup

Chickpeas really are such an inspiring ingredient

And finally…

Have you been inspired by ingredients you’ve discovered on your travels to come up with exciting new dishes at home?

I’d love to hear about them.

Chorizo and chickpeas, the perfect combination

Recipes don’t get easier than this. The dish literally takes less than 10 minutes to make from start to finish.

I love the colours of the classic Spanish ingredients, too. In Spain you buy chickpeas (garbanzas) in jars and they seem plumper, tastier and juicer than the tinned variety. Oh and how I love the giant lemons!

Take three ingredients

This is all you need

Serves 2

6 slices of chorizo, halved

Half a small bottle of chickpeas

Juice of half a lemon

1 tbsp olive oil

Fry the chorizo on a fairly high temperature in the olive oil for a few minutes until the oil’s turned red and the chorizo is sizzling.

Add the chickpeas and squeeze over the lemon juice.

Fry for another few minutes to heat the chickpeas through and serve immediately.

Take three ingredients for a deliciously simple dish

Take three ingredients for a deliciously simple dish