Chickpea soup (Lablabi)

It has been really cold in Lebanon the last few days and this soup which is sold by cart vendors in Bagdad (Iraq) is hearty and simple to prepare. My Iraqi friend Wafa’ gave me her recipe during her annual visit to  Lebanon  this past Summer. She said she loves it most with a squeeze of Seville oranges (called bousfeir here )which are in season now. She told me this soup warms the bones and gives strength.


6 servings

  •           1 1/2 cups of dry chickpeas

•           6 cups of chicken stock (homemade)

            •           1 tsp. salt (to taste)

            •           1 1/2 tsp. of turmeric

            •           1 red chili pepper (optional)

            •           3 lemons or Seville oranges, quartered

            •           1/2 tsp. of baking soda


  1. Soak the dry chickpeas with the baking soda overnight in at least 6 cups of water.

            2. Drain and place the chickpeas in a pot with the chicken stock, turmeric, and chili pepper; bring to a simmer for at least 45 minutes, skimming the froth until the chickpeas are tender. Salt to taste.

            3.         Ladle into individual bowls and serve with quartered lemons or Seville oranges to squeeze into the soup.

NOTE: You can use a bouillon cube with water instead of the homemade chicken bouillon.


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  1. Posted January 12, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    SO cozy and comforting!! I so love chickpeas for comfort food…

  2. Posted January 12, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Hearty and super filling soup.Definitely keeps me warm.

  3. Posted January 12, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    A beautiful soup! So warming and comforting.

    Those are beautiful mountains. I’d love to visit Lebanon and see its mindblowing countryside.



  4. Posted January 12, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Chez moi, ce plat est parfumé au cumin et il est servi bien chaud avec un filet d’huile de’olive qui change tout.
    Je ne connaissais pas cette version avec les agrumes. A tester très vite.
    A bientôt

  5. Posted January 12, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Look at that snow! Any soup that provides strength and warmth are high up on my list.

    Stay warm my friend.


  6. Posted January 12, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    This soup sounds so cozy yet refreshing—I love the idea of the lemons and oranges, it’s so simple and yet it must have a wonderful flavor.

  7. Posted January 13, 2013 at 4:25 am | Permalink

    Great comfort for the cold. That guy looks super happy!

  8. Thibault
    Posted January 13, 2013 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    That’s funny, I was in Tunisia not long ago and they have something similar, infused with cumin, and to which they add, bread, eggs, harissa, and a lot of things to make a hearty and delicious breakfast. I had no idea they had something like that in Iraq! thx

  9. Posted January 13, 2013 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Ils sont magnifiques et de plus ils font le…pois et je suis chiche d’y goûter. Bisous et bonne soirée

  10. Posted January 14, 2013 at 1:34 am | Permalink

    Ces montagnes ressemblent à celles de notre arrière-pays … On y annonce d’ailleurs de la neige pour aujourd’hui ou demain. POur l’instant, il fait très beau. Je croise les doigts ! ;o) Superbe, ta soupe … J’aime l’idée de l’orange, aussi.
    Bisous et bonne année, Joumana

  11. Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:46 am | Permalink

    Brr, we are suffering a bit of a cold wave here as well. My bones could use some warmth and strength! This soup looks like the perfect antidote to a cold day.

  12. Posted January 16, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    I read about the snow there! Crazy weather. Delicious and hearty soup for this season.

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