Roast Pumpkin, Berber Spiced Tomato and Chickpea Soup

, from Issue #72. May, 2017
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Roast Pumpkin, Berber Spiced Tomato and Chickpea Soup

A perfect cold-weather soup with aromatic spices and pumpkin enhanced by a touch of harissa and thick creamy yoghurt.

Serves: 4-6


1 kilogram crown or butternut pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 3cm chunks
olive oil
sea salt and ground pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 large kumara, peeled, cut 2cm chunks
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon harissa, or more to taste
1 quantity Berber Spice Mix (see recipe below)
400-gram tin cherry tomatoes
400-gram tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 big handfuls baby spinach, roughly chopped

Serving suggestions: poached eggs, cubes pan-fried halloumi, crumbled feta, thick plain yoghurt and harissa

Berber Spice Mix
1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, ginger and coriander
½ teaspoon each ground allspice, cardamom and turmeric
Combine all the ingredients together.


Preheat the oven to 180°C fan bake. Put the pumpkin on a large baking tray and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast until just tender. Set aside.

Soup: Heat the oil and add the onion, carrot and kumara. Season, cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, harissa and the Berber Spice Mix and cook for 1 minute, adding a splash of water if the pan is too dry. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the kumara is tender.

Add the pumpkin. If you want a thicker soup, gently crush some of the vegetables against the side of the pot with a fork. Stir in the spinach, turning to wilt. 

To serve: Ladle into bowls and add your favourite toppings. Serves 4–6.