Recipe: Spinach, Chickpea and Sweet Potato Soup

When I was at Rhodes University, I spent some time working with a local soup kitchen, helping them to become more sustainable and to rely less on donations. As part of a student society, we held a regular fundraiser called Singing for Soup, a live music evening at which we sold homemade soup and traditional Xhosa beer.

A5flyerSinging for Soup

The first time we held one of these events, I made a pot of soup from an Ainsley Harriott recipe book. It was such a hit that I made it again for subsequent Singing for Soup events, and continue to make it at home for family and friends. It’s become a big favourite. I bought all the ingredients for this soup at the farmers’ market on the weekend, so I decided to make it for my parents for dinner.


Chickpea, spinach and sweet potato soup

Preparation 10 mins; cooking time 20 mins; serves 4

  •  2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 400g can chickpeas, drained
  • 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 750ml hot vegetable stock
  • 225g baby spinach
  • salt and black pepper

IMG_0427 IMG_0426

  • Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion, sweet potato and garlic for 5 minutes, stirring until beginning to turn golden. Add the cumin seeds and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the chickpeas, tomatoes and honey and cook for 1-2 minutes until the tomatoes begin to soften.


  • Stir in the hot stock, bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes until the sweet potato is tender.
  • Stir in the spinach and cook for 1 minute, stirring until the spinach wilts.


  • Season to taste, blend, then ladle into bowls and serve.



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