Chickpea, Tomato, and Spelt Soup

Photo: Anna Williams
Prep Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs
6 cups

Spelt is an ancient whole grain native to southern Europe. It's packed with fiber and naturally higher in protein than wheat.


  • 1 cup spelt

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1 carrot, halved lengthwise and cut into ½-inch lengths

  • 1 celery stalk, diced

  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • teaspoon saffron (optional)

  • 4 cups chicken broth, homemade or canned

  • 1 can (14 ½ ounces) crushed tomatoes

  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • ¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley, for garnish


  1. Place spelt in a medium bowl and cover with cold water. Let soak for 1 hour; drain.

  2. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or large soup pot, heat oil over medium. Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add bay leaves, paprika, cumin, saffron (if using), spelt, broth, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes or until spelt is tender.

  3. Add tomatoes and chickpeas and cook for 20 minutes or until flavors have blended. Discard bay leaves. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

Cook's Notes

For a more intense flavor, use a mild smoked paprika instead of a sweet one. Topping off the soup with parsley adds an earthy tone.

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