Lablabi (Tunisian Chickpea Soup) Recipe (2024)



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Step 2: ... In a Dutch oven or heavy stockpot, combine soaked chickpeas, 5 cups water, ...


It would be handy to have a clearer conversions here. To make the crispy chickpeas from dried, how much do I need to make the cooked amount listed? Conversely, in the soup portion, how much does that amount of dried chickpeas make of cooked (in case I want to use canned?)

lynn rogers

... but zataar is a bit trickier.... Adds a nice note. But, interestingly, my relatives in Tunisia never use zataar... it is more used in the levant areas of the middle east, not in N. Africa. We do use alot of it in my very blended household but for making this recipe, the harissa would be more important than the zataar (in my opinion....)


1.5 cups of dried beans is about 3 cups cooked.


don't fret about proportions and measurements. we're making soup, not baking a cake. if it tastes good to you, it's correct.


This is delicious with canned chicks for both the crisp and the soup, knocks off the overnight and cuts down to less then an hour. Fort those who had trouble air drying the chicks pop them in the over with door open at 170 or so, dry in 10 minutes, then kick the oven to 425 and toast, takes maybe 35 minutes. All the stuff in step 6 can go in the blender too...I prefer the garlic that way and it means you don't have to be picky about mincing or grating it.


“Dryed chickpeas soaked overnight” ugh, really? Can I just skip the soaking and used canned? What’s the difference?

lynn rogers

Do you have Trader Joe's in your area? They sell an awesome Tunisian harissa at a very excellent low price. We buy it in loads for home use. Otherwise, it can be pretty quick and easy to whip up at home with good results: recipes abound on the internet. Basically chiles (dried, rehydrated or sometimes fresh or a mix), caraway, cumin, garlic, sometimes carrot (yes...) olive oil. Can vary tremendously in texture, consistency but it is basically a hot, spicy chile paste condiment. Good luck!


I used canned chickpeas to make the crispy one, and despite drying as directed, they took twice the length of time to crisp up. Used an instant pot for the soup itself - 2 min pressure cook and 10 min rest without releasing the steam to get the equivalent of an overnight soak, and then 15 minutes pressure cook instead of 1-2 hours for the rest of step 2. Used saute setting low while finishing the rest of the steps. All good.

Martha Plaine

Nice recipe. This is a favorite street food in Tunisia - and delicious. When I ate this in Tunisia my favorite part was choosing garnishes: tuna, chopped hard-boiled eggs, minced garlic, capers, olive oil, more harissa, olive oil, etc. It is a wonderful meal in a bowl. The bread, I have found, can be too much and make the soup thicker than you might like.


The standard yield ratio of beans is 1:3 (1 part dried beans will yield 3 parts of cooked beans). One pound of dried beans is 2 cups volume and will yield 6 cups.The 1:3 ratio applies to beans (legumes) only. It does not apply to members of the Pulse family like lentils which have a yield ratio of roughly 1:2 depending on the type of lentil.Those looking for quick and easy should try Ali Slagel's Chickpea Harissa soup in NYT. Not remotely the same as this stew but good.


This recipe is definitely written by a chef for chefs so I get why some comments critique the vagueness. However I served this in my restaurant and used this recipe as more of a rough outline, taking liberties where I saw fit and received great feedback on the end result.

John Chicago

My husband really liked this soup, but I’m the one who made it and it was way too much work for what you get in the end. The broth is thin and watery. And it’s the type of recipe that dirties every bowl, pan, utensil, and appliance in the house. Off to do the dishes....


I cooked the all the chickpeas at once. Much simpler.This recipe is basically a three day project (for someone with a day job). Day 1 - soak the chickpeas. Day 2 - cook the chickpeas, cool, and fridge overnight. Day 3 - everything else.The crispy chickpeas are a lot of effort, but they add a wonderful contrast with their crunch, salt, and spice.The toasted bread is less effort, but also less necessary. It's nice, but can easily be skipped.


There are actually 4 and 1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas. It's a 1 to 3 conversion i.e., 1 cup of dried chickpeas equals 3 cups of cooked. Hope this helps.


Because I didn't have harissa, I found a substitue on the web -- a combination of tomato paste and cayenne (at a 1:1 ratio). OMG the soup was so hot it was almost inedible. We loaded it up with more toast and some chevre. Wish it had worked out better.


Delicious! I made the chickpeas first in an instant pot (w the bay and oil), and used some of those to roast. Cooked the onions etc in a soup pot and added the puréed and non-puréed chickpeas to let it come together. Using the IP, unsoaked, the whole thing took maybe 2.5 hours and was SO worth it!

Doris deLespinasse

I'm confused about za'atar and sumac (which I have and love). I've read in some places that sumac is an essential ingredient in za'atar, but some recipes have only the herb called za'atar. Can I make it with my sumac? What else is essential to za'atar for this recipe?

Ruby Johnson

I was recently in Tunis and had Lablabi in the old Medina. The addition of roughly chopped preserved lemon made this dish sing!


Outrageously hearty and not hard to make. Could have a little more depth in the spices but that's only if I'm being picky

more chickpeas needed

Ended up having to add 2 cans of chickpeas, not enough stayed in the soup after pureeing


This did not make anywhere near 6 to 8 servings, to the point I had to re-read the recipe multiple times to make sure I wasn't forgetting something. It was otherwise really tasty.


The crunchy chick peas, while a fun snack, add nothing to this dish. Don’t bother with them.


Dried beans to dinner done in 2.5 hours, thanks to the instant pot. This is one of the best stews I’ve ever made, and I don’t always love chick peas. So delicious, so worth the effort. I have preserved lemons and they added the perfect touch. Wow!

Ellen Tabor

This recipe is way too complicated. This is what I did last night: saute some onion and garlic, add toasted ground cumin, salt and bay leaves; add 3 cans of undrained chickpeas, cook until they soften, use an immersion blender to blend as much as you want. (I forgot the tomato paste, so I added a little white miso later for umami.) Add lemon juice and harissa to taste, sprinkle parsley and enjoy with day-old baguette. It took about 30 minutes all-in. I skipped the toasted chickpeas.




This is to die for! We loved it. I found that I had to add a lot more water than the recipe called for. I will also not bother with the crispy chick peas next time. Mine weren't crispy even though I let them dry out for over an hour. Perhaps because they were previously frozen canned? Flavour was nice but the texture was chewy rather than crisp and very similar to the non-pureed chickpeas.


I drained the chickpeas so now I have a very spicy, but delicious, sludge. I think I might drain a can of chickpeas and simmer the chickpea lawater with the sludge. I’ll do it tomorrow, I have stuff to wash now. Sigh.


This was great! If using canned chickpeas (I was!) I started essentially with step 6- browning the onion then garlic then spices and tomato paste (I added harissa at this step too). Then I added bay leaves, my chickpeas, a splash of the liquid from the can, and vegetable broth and hot water to cover the chickpeas. Brought to a boil then simmered, covered until all the flavors got to know each other and finished with stirring in the lemon juice and blitzing with the immersion blender. 10/10


This makes a savory, comforting broth. The roasted chickpeas make the dish.

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Lablabi (Tunisian Chickpea Soup) Recipe (2024)


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