Healthy Tunisian Chickpea Orzo Soup! With a chill in the air, we are still craving cozy, comfort soups that are brimming with nourishing goodness, and this flavorful soup totally delivers.
This oil-free Healthy Tunisian Chickpea Orzo Soup is a flavorful nod to the traditional Tunisian Chickpea Soup. Perfectly spicy harissa heat is tempered with a dollop of cooling hummus for delicious flavor combo. Typically, a breakfast soup, this tastiness can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Whole Food Plant Based, Vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, no highly processed ingredients and gluten free.
Hi there, Ameera here!
We gobbled this soup right up! Everyone fell in love with it. If you enjoy spicy heat, then this soup is right up your ally.
We used hummus to temper the heat, but you could also use plant-based yogurt as a topping if you wished in leu of adding hummus. We have not tried that ourselves; however, yogurt is often added as a topping to reduce heat in dishes.
You gotta give this one a try!
Tips for Success:
- Flavor Profile: This soup is a WFPB nod to the traditional Tunisian Chickpea Soup which is a spicy soup with some heat. A dollop of yogurt is typically added to temper the heat. This Whole Food Plant Based version is a spicy soup with Middle Eastern flair. The hummus is used to temper some of the heat from the harissa powder, add flavor, and give the broth substance.
- Pasta: The pasta cooks in the hot broth. Or if you prefer a nice amount of broth like we do, then cook the pasta separately and add it to the soup at the end. Pasta is thirsty and soaks up the quite a bit of broth.
- Type of Cooked Pasta: Orzo pasta works best for this soup; however, just about any type of small-cut pasta will work in this soup. We suggest using ditalini, elbow macaroni, or small shells if you do not have orzo on hand. If using a pasta other than orzo, we suggest cooking it separately and adding the cooked pasta at the end.
- Gluten Free Pasta: We suggest cooking gluten-free pasta separately as it tends to release a lot of starch and clouds up the soup broth.
- Spices/Heat: Feel free to adjust the spices to suit your personal preferences. This soup does have some heat as the Harissa Spice Blend is an essential ingredient.
- Baking Soda: Baking soda is often used as a neutralizer for dishes that contain a lot of acidity, typically from tomatoes. We use it in this dish to remove some of the tomato acidity (from the petite diced tomatoes) without losing the tomatoey flavor. When you add it, the mixture may bubble up, then settle down as it neutralizes the acidity.
- Hummus: We used our The Best Hummus in this recipe; however, feel free to use your favorite hummus. Do not add the hummus until after the orzo has cooked and become tender (if cooking in the orzo in the soup broth). If cooking the orzo separately, you can add it with the Base Ingredients.
- Flavors to Marry: Make sure you allow at least 5 minutes for the flavors to marry. The flavors continue to develop once the soup slightly cools.
- Greens: Greens such as spinach and kale are natural spice/herb neutralizers. A soup/stew can taste perfectly seasoned before adding the greens, then once the greens are added, the flavor of the flavor mellows requiring more seasoning.
- Low Fat Dish Expectations: This soup is designed to be a low-fat dish. It is not going to taste as decadent as a dish that has a higher fat content. It is very delicious, but we want to make sure the reader understands this.
- Amount of Sea Salt: We had family members completely divided over the amount of sea salt needed to season this soup. We ultimately landed on 1 ¼ teaspoons; however, feel free to adjust to suit your own tastes accordingly.
Leftovers and Freezing:
Leftovers will generally keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Store in a covered container. Reheating can be done on the stovetop, or in the microwave.
This dish can be frozen; however, it is best if served immediately after making or after refrigerating leftovers. Pasta does tend to get a little mushy after freezing.
Pantry Products Used:
- Harissa Spice Blend: We used Frontier Co-Op Organic Harissa Seasoning, North African Heat. Feel free to use your favorite Harissa Seasoning. If using other than Frontier Harissa Seasoning, start on the low end and build from there as some Harissa Seasonings pack quite a bit of heat.
- Vegetable Stock: We use Pacific Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Stock. We love this brand because it is Whole Food Plant Based compliant, as it does not contain MSG, has no oil, and does not contain any highly-processed ingredients.
- Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
Kitchen Products Used:
- Ceramic/Enamel Lined Dutch Oven or similarly large stock pot
- Medium stock pot (if cooking the pasta separately)
We certainly hope you give this deliciousness a try.Print
Nourishing and cozy, this oil-free Healthy Tunisian Chickpea Orzo Soup is brimming with delicious plant-based ingredients.
- 1 medium yellow onion, fine dice
- 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth *
- 4 cups water
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice (+/-)
- 1 – [ 14.5 oz. can ] petite diced tomatoes
- 1 – [ 15 oz. can ] chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 Tablespoons dried minced onions
- ¾ to 1 ¼ teaspoons harissa spice blend powder (+/-) *
- ¾ teaspoon cumin (+/-)
- ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika (+/-)
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika (+/-)
- 1/8 teaspoon coriander (+/-)
- ¼ to 1 ¼ teaspoons sea salt (+/-) *
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda *
- ½ to 2/3 cup dry orzo pasta *
- 2 to 3 cups kale, chopped
- ¼ cup hummus *
- Freshly chopped cilantro or parsley
- Place the Spice/Herb Ingredients in a small bowl, mix well, set aside.
- In a large ceramic/enamel-lined pot or similar stock soup pot, add the diced onions, sauté over medium-high heat until the onions begin to soften, approximately 7 to 9 minutes, stirring periodically to prevent burning. Add a tablespoon or so of water if they start to stick and/or to prevent burning.
- Add the minced garlic, sauté for 30 seconds, then add all the remaining Base Ingredients and Spice/Herb Mix, stir well to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower to a low-boiling simmer, add the baking soda, stir well.
- Simmer for 7 minutes, then add the orzo pasta. Simmer until the orzo pasta is tender.
- Add the hummus, stir well to combine, then add the kale. Simmer until the kale has reached the desired tenderness.
- Remove the soup from the stove and allow to sit for 5 minutes for the flavors to marry. Top with freshly chopped cilantro.
*Please reference the blog post for Tips for Success, Pantry Items Used, Storage and Freezing, and Kitchen Products Used.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
*Servings: 4 to 5
*Nutrition Information: Using a hummus that has a smaller amount of tahini or no tahini at all will reduce the fat content.
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