Chickpea & Spinach Soup with Tahini and Orange Zest

I am generally confident about the good outcome of the recipes I am posting here, but this rich soup stands out by far. Nutty tahini, orange zest, aromatic spinach and exotic spices blend in exceptionally well into a true explosion of flavors.



Make your own tahini:

It’s a lot nicer to make your own tahini. You can control how you like it and the smell of freshly made tahini is so tantalizing, I would not like to forego the pleasure.

Tahini comes basically in two versions: dark and light tahini. Dark tahini is made of unpeeled sesame and is of a more intense flavor, but unpeeled sesame is also more bitter. Apart from this, the roasting and the amount of sesame oil used also influence the intensity of the flavor. 

The below recipe is for a light, not too intense-tasting tahini.

You will need: 250 grams of peeled sesame, 30 grams of sesame oil, 40 grams of sunflower oil

This is how you do it: Roast the sesame while permanently turning in a non-stick frying pan without the addition of oil on medium to high heat until golden-brown. Let cool down, then fill into a blender. Blend while slowly adding the oil until you have a completely smooth, rather liquid paste.

Preserve in a very clean container (e.g. a preserving glass previously disinfected in boiling water).


Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 150 grams of dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • cooking olive oil for frying
  • 1/2 White Sweet Spanish Onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin slices
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of ground coriander seed
  • peel of 1/4 orange (in 2-3 pieces cut lengthwise)
  • approximately 1 liter of vegetable stock
  • 15 grams of cornflour
  • 150 ml of cream
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons of tahini (see frame above for a recipe for tahini)
  • 1 level teaspoon if cayenne pepper
  • freshly ground pepper, salt
  • 250 grams of stem spinach
  • For decoration: 50 grams of Roccolo, broken into small bits


  1. Boil the chickpeas for approximately 30 minutes until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Place the orange peel on a wooden cutting board, outside peel facing down, and with a very sharp knife, shave the pith off the peel. Leave as little of the pith on the skin as possible. Cut the orange skin into very thin, approximately 1 cm long strips.
  3. In a large saucepot, fry the onion in 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat for approximately 5 minutes. It should not turn brown.
  4. Add the cumin, coriander seed, orange skin and the carrots.
  5. Cover and continue frying on low heat, stirring from time to time, for approximately 10 minutes until soft.
  6. Add the chicken stock and the chickpeas.
  7. Mix the cornflour, tahini, cream, cayenne pepper and freshly ground pepper and salt, then stir the mix into the soup.
  8. Simmer for approximately 10 minutes.
  9. In the meantime, cut the spinach leaves of the stems, wash well and cut them into large strips.
  10. Add the spinach to the soup. Let simmer for another 1 to 2 minutes, then serve in pre-warmed soup dishes sprinkled with Roccolo.

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