Tunisian breakfast soup with greens

Jill Dupleix
Tunisian breakfast soup with greens.
Tunisian breakfast soup with greens. Photo: Marina Oliphant

A hearty, head-spinning, soupy stew based on Tunisian leblebi.


2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, grated

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 red capsicum, finely diced

800g chickpeas, drained and rinsed

400g canned tomatoes, chopped

750ml chicken or vegetable stock

Sea salt and pepper

500g silverbeet leaves, washed

2 tbsp harissa paste

4 thick slices sourdough bread

2 hard-boiled eggs, each cut into 6 wedges

1 tbsp salted capers, rinsed

Extra virgin olive oil for serving

2 tbsp coriander leaves


Heat oil in a large pan and cook onion for five minutes until softened. Add garlic, cumin and most of the diced red capsicum and cook for three minutes.

Add chickpeas, tomatoes, stock, salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Roughly chop silverbeet leaves and simmer for five minutes until wilted. Add one tablespoon harissa, stirring. Toast or grill the bread and place in the base of each bowl.

Add a ladleful of chickpeas, silverbeet and enough broth to thoroughly soak the toast. Top with egg wedges, capers, remaining harissa and red capsicum.

Finish with extra pepper, olive oil and coriander leaves and serve. I make it with silverbeet because I love this green, but you can use kale, cavolo nero, English spinach or a mixture. Serve on toast, topped with hard-boiled egg wedges, or a fried or poached egg.