Chickpea, Tomato, Olive and Meatball Soup Recipe

Chickpea, Tomato, Olive and Meatball Soup Recipe

This is a bit of a weird introduction to make, I want to describe the soup, but it is just what it is. It is a soup, in the sense that it is not a stew, but it is not smooth as some people prefer their soups. I love soups, and I find that they are warming and can be light at the same time. The chickpea, tomato, and olive base of this soup is incredibly fragrant and filling. As a result, it tastes excellent both vegetarian and with the meatballs.

I will be adding the meatball recipe at the end and the instructions how to add it to the soup.

The soup includes Berbere spice, which, if you can find it is REALLY great. It is found in Ethiopian and Eritrean cooking. If you cannot find the spice mix I have attached the wikipedia like here – Do stick to the recipes as much as possible as it is a fabulous mix.

Just a tip: I usually keep the meatballs and the soup separated until I want to eat the soup. So I will freeze or refrigerate the meatballs and add them right before reheating the soup.

Chickpea, Tomato and Olive Soup Base

Servings: 6

Calories per serving: 182

Storage: This soup stores well, and can be in your fridge for up to 5 days after making.

Chickpea, Tomato, Olive and Meatball Soup Recipe

: 6
: 7 min
: 45 min
: 52 min
: Easy


  • ABOUT - 1 Tbsp Berbere Spice mix. I suggest adding it, stirring it in and keep coming back whether or not you need to add more.
  • 1 standard can of chickpeas - 240g drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes - 400g can
  • ABOUT - 400g empty tomato can of water - you want enough to give a good broth to the soup, I would even suggest as much as a second can, but measure it out, and add as much or as little as you want to make the soup thick or thin to taste
  • 2 cups red onions chopped
  • 1 tsp sesame seed oil
  • ¾ tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 2 lamb stock cube (If you are making this vegetarian, switch out the chicken and lamb stock cubes and use vegetarian)
  • 10 chopped green and black olives
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste - maybe more if it needs thickening. I did about 2 good squirts from the tube, but I am heavy handed with the tomato paste
  • OPTIONAL - Squeeze of Lemon Juice
  • OPTIONAL - 12 meatballs
  • Step 1 Prep: Drain your chickpeas
  • Step 2 Chop the onions
  • Step 3 Mince the garlic
  • Step 4 Chop the olives, they don’t need to be too fine, and large round circles do look more aesthetically pleasing
  • Step 5 (this soup needs everything to go in quickly which is why I do suggest getting everything ready from the start)
  • Step 6 Cook: Combine the oils in the bottom of a pot and allow to heat up. Add the Berbere spice (if you want to do the slow addition method add about 2 tsp and then add more later) and let it cook in the oils. Add the onions and garlic, turn to low and cover. Add your meatballs and fry. Let that cook until the onions and garlic are clear and the meatballs are cooked through.
  • Step 7 Add 1 chicken stock cube and 1 lamb stock cube, let that dissolve in the oil and juices. Add the olives and fry a bit more. Add the chickpeas and let them fry. Stirring the whole while. Add the tomato paste and stir it with the mixture well. Once that is well combined add the chopped tomatoes and water. Cover and turn the heat up to medium. Leave it on that temperature until it starts to boil, turn down the heat and continue to cook.
  • Step 8 I keep going back and checking if it is boiling over or if it needs more spice, and it was about the 15 minutes mark when I realised that it needed the 2nd lamb cube. You also may want to add some lemon juice at this point as well. You want to cook this for at least 30 minutes. But you need to keep checking, you want to ensure that the tomatoes and chickpeas are cooked to a good texture, as well, you want the spice to be blended in nicely.

Pork Meatballs

Servings: 19 balls

Calories: 82 per ball (at about 47.4 g per ball) – not to be too specific

Storage: I will put 2 – 3 balls into one plastic bag and store in the freezer. This way, I can easily pull them out and add them to meals when and if I want to include them.

Pork Meatballs

: 19
: 30 min
: 30 min


  • 500 g pork mince
  • 6 sausages (or 400 g) - I went with Tolouse style, but the world is your oyster! Go nuts.
  • Step 1 Mix well together with your hands. If you have long nails, I do suggest you cut them before doing this!
  • Step 2 Then roll out the individual balls. Make sure that each ball is about 1 inch in diameter. Or go for the “general” meatball size.

Reheating from frozen:

Put the meatballs into a saucepan, add a bit of water to the bottom, cover and put on at a low heat. Turn them until they are nicely defrosting and cooking on the outside. You want the water to add some steaming and help with the defrost process. Once they feel sufficiently defrosted (it doesn’t need to be fully) and there is no uncooked pork on the outside. Add your cold soup (or other dish) crank up the heat, bring it to a boil and let it boil until the pork is cooked. Leave a lid on the pot otherwise you will need to add more water part-way through.

In the photo I have cut the meatballs in half with the spatula in the pot for several reasons:

I really only wanted to eat this with a spoon and a whole meatball was going to become cumbersome

I was hungry and wanted it to cook faster

That being said – I don’t mind the look with the ½ meatball and it feels like more.

Reheating from the fridge or room temperature:

Put the meatballs into a pan and put them on to a low heat. You want to start to melt the fat so that it will be able to coat the bottom of the pan, so put a lid on to it to get that going. Once you have some juices in the bottom of the pan. You can put the heat up a bit more and brown the outsides. Because this is a faster method from above, you can spend more time cooking these through. It would not be bad if they were almost fully cooked by the time that you add the soup to reheat.

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