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Watercress and Chickpea Soup with Spiced Carrots

May 8, 2015

This recipe is inspired by the wonderful book Jerusalem by Yottam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. Ras el Hanout is a complex spice blend that is available from Middle Eastern specialty stores or gourmet grocers, but ground cumin is a simple and lovely alternative.


(Serves 4)

2 medium carrots, peeled & largely diced

3 tbsp olive oil

¾ tbsp ras el hanout or ground cumin

½ tsp ground cinnamon

300 g cooked chickpeas, drained

1 onion, diced

1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped

1 tsp sea salt

600 ml vegetable or chicken stock

200 g watercress or silverbeet

100 g spinach leaves

1 tsp sugar [optional]

Greek yoghurt, to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 200c.
  2. Toss the carrots with 1 tbsp of the olive oil, ras el hanout & cinnamon and scatter over a baking paper lined oven tray. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
  3. Scatter over half the chickpeas, toss through the carrots and roast a further 10 minutes. Reserve to the side.
  4. In a large saucepan, gently brown the onion and ginger with the salt and sugar in the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil. Reserve a little of the smaller watercress leaves for garnish before adding to the pot with the spinach and stock. Bring to the boil, turn off the heat and leave for 2 – 3 minutes.
  5. If using silverbeet, simmer gently for 5 minutes until the greens & stalks are tender.
  6. Carefully puree in small batches and then return to the pot to gently reheat.
  7. Serve drizzled with a little Greek yoghurt, a scattering of the spiced carrots and chickpeas and garnish with the reserved watercress.

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