A sweet and savory Moroccan pumpkin soup with chickpeas is a perfectly creamy alternative to a typical pumpkin soup. This vegan pumpkin soup is also packed with protein because of all of the plump chickpeas.
Moroccan Pumpkin And Chickpea Soup
One of the things I love about Moroccan cuisine is how it is so easy to eat both vegetarian and vegan. As much as we are not vegetarian or vegan ourselves, we are trying to reduce our meat intake, without going hungry.
Some of the most common ingredients we ate in Morocco were pumpkin, carrots, sweet potato, and chickpeas.
Here’s where I got the idea for this Moroccan spiced soup. In Morocco, we ate a salad of batata hlouwa. In Moroccan Arabic, this translates to a salad of potato. It’s a local sweet potato, similar to a yam. The salad was mixed with honey, raisins, and cinnamon. It’s a sweeter salad, but very good.
I wanted to take the sweetness of this Moroccan sweet potato salad and turn it into a savory soup. I used pumpkin for the soup. I sweetened it with cinnamon and packed it with protein from chickpeas – another common Moroccan ingredient.
There is a good amount of Moroccan spice in this soup, with the garlic, ginger, and cumin. But the cinnamon and nutmeg provide a sweetness that offsets the spice.
This is what I love about Moroccan cuisine. There is a bit of a dance between spicy and sweet. That’s what makes this a sweet and savory Moroccan soup.
Why Add Chickpeas To Pumpkin Soup
A lot of pumpkin soup recipes call for cream. That’s how they make the soup so creamy. Using chickpeas is a way to add a creaminess to the soup for people following a vegan or dairy-free diet.
Also, when reducing your intake of meat, it’s important to find ways to add protein to your diet. This takes a typical vegetable soup and packs it with protein. It’s one of the reasons why we love chickpea and bean recipes.
More Pumpkin And Chickpea Recipes
Check out our other recipes with pumpkin and chickpeas:
Ingredients For This Moroccan Pumpkin And Chickpea Soup
The base for this stew is a good quality olive oil. Morocco is actually known for olives and even produces some fabulous olive oil.
Mina makes a great cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil. You can purchase Moroccan olive oil on Amazon here. It’s a great olive oil to use not only for Moroccan recipes but for other Mediterranean bean recipes.
Seasonings And Spices
The olive oil is seasoned with a small, diced yellow onion. It doesn’t matter how small you dice the pieces because they will be blended in the end.
I like grating my ginger so that there are no big chunks of ginger in the soup but you get all of the flavor. I use a cheese grater on the fine side.
I usually prefer to use a quality garlic press for the garlic so it blends into the Moroccan soup recipe without leaving big chunks.
The Moroccan pumpkin soup is seasoned with cumin and turmeric to give it a nutty and earthy flavor. This is what makes the soup so savory. Then, the cinnamon and nutmeg make the soup more sweet.
Adding The Vegetables
Once the seasoning and spices are coated in the olive oil, add in the pumpkin and chickpeas. The fresh pumpkin should be cut into one inch pieces so that they cook quickly.
Drain the chickpeas, but don’t rinse them. This adds a bit of texture and starchiness from the chickpeas. It thickens the soup.
The liquid comes from the vegetable stock. If you are not a vegetarian chicken stock can be used. Then, add just a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice to add some acidity to the soup.
How To Make Moroccan Spiced Pumpkin Soup
Warm the olive oil in a large saucepan or medium-sized dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Once the olive oil is warm, add the onion, garlic, and ginger. Saute until the onion starts to yellow, but don’t let the garlic brown. About 2-3 minutes.
Add cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and turmeric. Coat the spices in the olive oil to release the flavors and aromas of the spices. Be prepared for the next steps, adding the veggies and stock, to make sure the spices don’t burn or start to stick.
Add the pumpkin and chickpeas to coat them in the olive oil and seasonings. Add the vegetable stock and lemon juice.
Turn the heat up a bit and bring the soup to a boil. Once at a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft.
Stir occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn or stick. Adjust the heat as needed. Once ready, a fork should pass easily through the pumpkin.
Once ready, add the soup one ladle at a time to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and then return to the saucepan to heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve in a bowl topped with fresh coriander and sprinkle of paprika. Serve alongside warmed pita bread or pita chips.
I also like to add a dollop of Greek yogurt to make the Moroccan pumpkin soup a little more creamy, but that’s not vegan-friendly!
Tips For This Moroccan Pumpkin Soup Recipe
Here area few more cooking tips, in case you are not used to making soups this way.
While you are cooking, the soup may look fairly dark. This is normal because of the seasoning. The final soup will brighten when the chickpeas are blended.
While adding the soup to the blender, add a bit at a time, and watch the consistency. You might not want to add all of the liquid if the soup starts getting too thin. Remember, it’s easier to add a bit more broth than to try to thicken the soup at the end.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed or pressed
- 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 cups pumpkin, diced
- 2 cups of chickpeas, drained but not rinsed (about a can, or a little less)
- 3 cups of vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup coriander, roughly chopped for garnish
- Paprika for garnish
- Warm olive oil in a large saucepan or medium-sized dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- Once the olive oil is warm, add the onion, garlic, and ginger. Saute until the onion starts to yellow, but don’t let the garlic brown. About 2-3 minutes.
- Add the cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and turmeric. Coat the spices in the olive oil to release the flavors and aromas of the seasoning.
- Add the pumpkin and chickpeas to coat in the olive oil and seasonings. Add the vegetable stock and lemon juice and bring to a boil.
- Once at a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft. Stir occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn or stick. Adjust the heat as needed.
- Once ready, a fork should pass easily through the pumpkin.
- Once ready, add the soup one ladle at a time to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and then return to the saucepan to heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve in a bowl topped with fresh coriander and sprinkle of paprika or a dollop of Greek yogurt. Serve alongside warmed pita bread or pita chips.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 268Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 587mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 11gSugar: 8gProtein: 10g
This nutritional data is provided by a third-party source and should not be relied on if you are on a strict diet.
Modifications And Variations For This Moroccan Pumpkin Soup With Chickpeas
If you like the spice of Moroccan cuisine, then add a tablespoon of harissa at the end. Taste the soup before adding it to ensure you can handle the spice. I use Mina Spicy Harissa for this recipe, which you can buy on Amazon here.
If you don’t have access to fresh pumpkin, butternut squash can be used as well. Dice it into bite-sized pieces.