Brothy Chickpea Soup with Lemon, Fennel & Sumac, infused with Middle Eastern spices, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with fresh herbs. Vegan and Gluten-free.  ( This can also be made in an Instant Pot, see recipe notes) 

Brothy Chickpea Soup with Lemon, Fennel & Sumac. A healthy vegan soup, full of flavor! #vegansoup #chickpeasoup #chickpeastew #veganrecipes #plantbased #garbanzobeans

This soul-warming, Brothy Chickpea Soup with Lemon, Fennel and Sumac is seasoned with Middle Eastern spices is just what the doctor ordered on a cold winter’s night. Serve it with toaty pita bread or over warm quinoa, and drizzle with olive oil, or with flavorful zhoug, a spicy Middle Eastern Cilantro Sauce.  Hearty and filling, this flavorful vegan soup satisfies!

On the home front: Brian and I have been trying to embrace winter and get outside and just be in it.  Or rather I should say, Brian is embracing it fully … and I am trying. Ha.

We spent the New Year in Nelson, BC and skied in the sunshine and hung out with friends. Good for the soul. Here, back at home, it’s rainy and dreary. To help fend off the winter blues, we’ve been making a point of lighting candles, drinking chai, and making things feel extra cozy. Also, if you’ve been here a while, you’ll already know my secret weapon in the kitchen. Lemons!

So bright and cheery, the aroma alone uplifts. They’ve been in my morning water, added to hot tea, and are the inspiration for this soup. I hope you enjoy!

chickpea soup with fennel

This Chickpea Soup can be made with dry or canned chickpeas. ***If using dry chickpeas, make sure to soak them in water for 10-24 hours first.

It starts with sauteeing an onion.

Saute the onion.

Dice fennel bulb.

Brothy Chickpea Soup with Lemon, Fennel & Sumac. A healthy vegan soup, full of flavor! #vegansoup #chickpeasoup #chickpeastew #veganrecipes #plantbased #garbanzobeans

Dice Celery and garlic.

Saute with the onion.

Saute the fennel and onion are sautéed for 5-10 minutes, then add the soaked chickpeas, broth water and spice.

Cook until the chickpeas are tender, about 20 minutes.

Squeeze with lemon, and serve with fresh dill or parsley (or both!) and a drizzle of olive oil.

Brothy Chickpea Soup with Lemon, Fennel & Sumac. A healthy vegan soup, full of flavor! #vegansoup #chickpeasoup #chickpeastew #veganrecipes #plantbased #garbanzobeans

Serve it on its own or over quinoa for a thicker stew.

Lemony Chickpea Soup with Fennel, served over warm quinoa with flavorful Zhoug. A healthy vegan Middle Eastern-inspired soup, full of flavor! #vegansoup #chickpeasoup #chickpeastew #veganrecipes #plantbased #cleaneating #eatclean #detoxsoup

The lemon and sumac give the chickpea soup life, waking it up with a delicious brightness. Perfect for winter.

Lemony Chickpea Soup with Fennel & Sumac served over warm quinoa with flavorful Zhoug. A healthy vegan soup, full of flavor! #vegansoup #chickpeasoup #chickpeastew #veganrecipes #plantbased #cleaneating #eatclean #detoxsoup

But to me, it is the zhoug sauce, with its hint of cardamom, that really elevates this Brothy Chickpea Soup to its highest potential – so give it a try if you have time!

More soups you may enjoy


Brothy Chickpea Soup with Lemon, Fennel & Sumac. A healthy vegan soup, full of flavor! #vegansoup #chickpeasoup #chickpeastew #veganrecipes #plantbased #garbanzobeans

Hope your New Year is off to a healthy and delicious start. Hope you enjoy this Brothy Chickpea Soup. 



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Lemony Chickpea Soup with Fennel and Sumac

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 21 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: soup, vegan, stew
  • Method: stove top or instant pot
  • Cuisine: middle eastern
  • Diet: Vegan


Lemony Brothy Chickpea Soup with Fennel & Sumac – a soul warming vegan soup that is healthy and flavorful.


Units Scale
  • 1 cup dry chickpeas, soaked 8-24 hours (or sub 2 14-ounce cans, drained)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 white or yellow onion, diced.
  • 1 extra-large fennel bulb,chopped ( about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 4 cups veggie broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 12 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons sumac (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or dill
  • 2 bay leaves
  • —–
  • 24 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Pinch of chili flakes, aleppo or Urfa Biber (Turkish Chili Flakes)
  • Garnish: fresh dill or flat-leaf parsley ( or both- even better), olive oil or zhoug sauce.

Serve with pita breadcrusty bread or serve over cooked grains (like quinoa). All optional.



If using dry beans, soak in a big bowl of water for 8 to 24 hours.

In a large dutch oven, or heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion and saute 5 minutes, stirring, add fennel, celery and garlic, lower heat to medium and cook 3-4 more minutes until fragrant. Add broth, water, chickpeas, salt, cumin, coriander, optional sumac , bay leaves, and dried thyme.  Cover, bring to a boil, then simmer gently on medium-low for 25-35 minutes, or until chickpeas are tender.

Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice and taste. It if tastes bland, it needs salt.  Add the optional chili flakes.

Divide among bowls and garnish with olive oil (or zhoug) and a generous amount of fresh herbs.  Serve with pita bread or crusty bread, or ladle over a bowl of cooked grains (like quinoa).


You could make this in the instant pot, but make sure to soak the chickpeas first. My first attempt failed. I tried this with unsoaked dry chickpeas, 35 minutes on high pressure, but the fennel bulb turned out WAY overcooked. Soaked garbanzos took only 12 minutes in on high setting in the Instant Pot, and fennel kept its shape.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 244
  • Sugar: 8.5 g
  • Sodium: 507.6 mg
  • Fat: 8.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 35.3 g
  • Fiber: 7.2 g
  • Protein: 9.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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  1. Organic dried chickpeas in local indian spice store or non organic dried chickpeas from Palouse? What would be your recommendation if you can give one?

    1. Haha! The million dollar question. I live in near the Palouse, but I still opt for organic. I feel like a traitor. 🙂

  2. My first time cooking with fennel. Nice and simple. Such a great surprising flavor. I added roasted poblanos.

    1. Hi Denise, glad you are enjoying. Feel free to adjust salt to your taste. If using dry beans vs. canned beans, I usually add more salt. The veggie broth here is also quite salty. 🙂

  3. WoW! So easy and quick, soooo tasty, so healthy …absolutely winner recipe. Another for my repertoire! Ever so thankful for your ideas , you make my cooking so much more enjoyable varied and always healthy…3 in 1! 🤩 Last year I started to eat only vegetarian/ vegan during the weekdays and got quite a few of your recipes on rotation, I’m keeping this routine because it’s been such a success… with it I help my health , the planet’s plus I have learnt lots from you and Tonya. Keep up the good work please! 😍

    1. Hi, Maria. I love your idea of eating vegetarian during weekdays! Can you share what’s in your rotation currently to get me started? Thanks for considering!

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