Aromatic Middle Eastern Soup

Aromatic Middle Eastern Soup

4 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 1996

Infusing canned broth with spices creates a heady aromatic broth that is the perfect base for this simple soup.

Ingredients 4 servings

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Original recipe yields 4 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 46-ounce or 3 14-ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped (1½ cups)
  • ½ cup basmati rice, or bulgur
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 8-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup slivered fresh mint leaves, for garnish


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  1. Crush garlic cloves with the flat of a chef's knife (do not peel). Crush coriander, cumin and peppercorns with a heavy saucepan. Tuck the garlic, crushed spices, red-pepper flakes and turmeric into a tea infuser (or cheesecloth bag) and place it in a large saucepan. Add cinnamon stick to the pan and pour in broth. Bring to a boil. Boil, uncovered, until reduced to 4 cups, 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until softened and very lightly colored, 3 to 5 minutes. Add rice or bulgur and stir for 1 minute.
  3. Pour in the reduced broth (including the tea infuser and the cinnamon stick) and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer over low heat until the rice or bulgur is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Cut 4 slices from the lemon and reserve for garnish. Juice the remaining lemon to flavor the soup. Stir chickpeas into the soup and heat through. Remove the tea infuser and cinnamon stick. Season the soup to your taste with lemon juice and ground pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with lemon slices and mint.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 205 calories; 5 g fat(1 g sat); 6 g fiber; 34 g carbohydrates; 10 g protein; 22 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 5 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 43 IU vitamin A; 27 mg vitamin C; 60 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 819 mg sodium; 424 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (45% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 fat

Reviews 4

October 26, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Delicious and easy I'll definitely be making this again. So tasty! Tried adding lemon to a small portion and found it quickly overwhelmed the other flavours so I only added a little lemon juice to the rest. Will add carrot next time and maybe some squash.
July 15, 2011
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By: Ellen
A real favorite! This soup has a wonderful combination of flavors and textures. It travels well to work and is good either hot or cold. I use bulgher. Pros: Taste, textured, comfort food Cons: Nothing. Gets tiresome after about two weeks in a row
November 12, 2009
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By: jsteelz
This was an extremely delicious. I thought it would be a light and brothy soup but it packed a bold punch and the chickpeas, rice and onions made for a hearty meal. I paired it with a pomegranate spinach salad for a nice balance.
October 30, 2009
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By: julie.labunski
This is a fairly easy soup to make. It has a nice light, lemony flavor. I added extra chickpeas because 8 oz didn't seem enough. If you are looking for more protein, it would be great with some leftover cut up chicken or turkey.
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