, Step by step

Moroccan meatball and chickpea soup

This hearty soup is perfect for autumn and makes a great starter or a light main meal.

Mark Stower, Director of Food and Service

Preparation Time: 30 mins

Cooking Time: 45 mins

Serves: 6


  • Step 1

    Place the minced lamb into a large mixing bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of Ras el Hanout. Crush 1 garlic clove and add to the bowl. Finely chop the coriander and add to the bowl. Mix together.

  • Step 2

    Split the mixture into 18 walnut-sized meatballs (approximately 2cm diameter). Leave these in the fridge for later.

  • Step 3

    Heat some oil in a heavy-bottom pan. Crush the remaining garlic clove and add to the pan. Finely chop the onion and chilli and add to the pan.

  • Step 4

    Add the grated ginger, paprika and 1 teaspoon of Ras el Hanout.

  • Step 5

    Add the vegetable stock and the chopped tomatoes and cook for 20 minutes on a low heat.

  • Step 6

    Chop the sweet potato into small cubes and slice the courgette. Add these, along with the chickpeas, to the pan and cook for a further 15 minutes.

  • Step 7

    In a frying pan, add a little oil and sauté the meatballs on a medium heat for 10 minutes or until brown and cooked thoroughly.

  • Step 8

    Divide the meatballs between 6 bowls and pour the soup on top. Sprinkle with shredded mint leaves and chopped coriander.


Chickpeas are legumes (pulses). They have been cultivated as a source of protein for thousands of years and during the First World War were even used to make a type of coffee!

Chickpeas feature in many Mediterranean recipes and in Indian cuisine (Bengal gram). They are often ground into flour.

Like all dried pulses, chickpeas need quite long cooking times to make them edible, but the canned varieties work well in all recipes. Look for the ones canned in water, without added salt.

Chickpeas provide fibre, protein and vitamins, especially vitamin E, as well as minerals, including iron and zinc.