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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