Preserved Lemon, Chickpea Pasta Soup

Two bowls of preserved lemon, chickpea pasta soup

It’s the end of January, and while winter is still keeping spring at arm’s length, my family and I keep this Preserved Lemon, Chickpea Pasta Soup close at hand. It’s nourishing, warming, and adds a zest of bright yellow zing to a main event bowl of soup. Easy to prepare, it’s table-ready in 45 minutes or less. Serve with a hunk of tangy sourdough bread, and you’ll definitely sail past winter’s doldrums, all senses awakened and primed for spring’s arrival.

A preserved lemon in a bowl

Preserved lemon is the star of this simple chickpea pasta soup. It adds a pleasing, briny accent that’s in contrast to the tartness of fresh lemon. I always keep a jar or two of preserved lemons in my pantry. Though you can make your own salt-preserved lemons at home, this recipe makes use of a jarred version (there are several on the market). You should be able to find preserved lemons at your local food co-op or grocery store. If you can’t find any, do not be discouraged; 2 teaspoons of lemon zest can be substituted.

A bowl of Preserved Lemon, Chickpea Pasta Soup
A bowl of Preserved Lemon, Chickpea Pasta Soup

Looking for more recipes that feature lemon? Take a peek here!

For another easy, weeknight soup recipe, give this Soba Noodle Soup a try!

Two bowls of chickpea pasta soup

Preserved Lemon, Chickpea Pasta Soup

  • Author: Shannon
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 68 bowls of soup 1x



  • 1 1/4 cup dry brown rice rotini pasta (uncooked)
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced into crescents
  • 1 tbsp vegan Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1 1/4 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth/stock (48 fl oz/1.5 qt)
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1, 15.5 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 
  • 23 tbsp preserved lemon rind, diced or thinly sliced (plus more for topping)*
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped (plus more for topping)


  • preserved lemon, fresh dill fronds, flaky sea salt, drizzle of olive oil


  1. Cook the pasta. In a large pot, bring 5 cups (40 fl oz/1.25 qt) of water to a boil (add a pinch or two of sea salt if desired). Add the pasta and stir gently for a few seconds. Cook the rotini pasta for 7 minutes (or until pasta is cooked al dente), stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta in a colander and rinse with cold water. Set the pasta aside.
  2. Make the soup. Heat the olive oil over medium-heat in a large pot or Dutch oven until the oil is shimmering.
  3. Add the onion and and garlic and saute for 5-7 minutes until the onion is soft and transluscent; stir frequently. 
  4. Then add the carrots, celery, Dijon mustard, sea salt, parsley and crushed red pepper flakes. Coat the vegetables with Dijon/spice mixture, stirring frequently for about 30 seconds. 
  5. Add the vegetable broth/stock. Raise the heat and bring the soup to a gentle boil. Then reduce the heat and bring the soup to a low simmer. Allow the soup to simmer for 10 minutes. 
  6. Add in the cooked pasta, chickpeas and lemon juice. Let the soup simmer on medium-low for an additional 2-5 minutes.
  7. Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in 2-3 tbsp of preserved lemon to taste (or lemon zest if using) and the fresh dill. Add more salt as desired.
  8. Ladle the soup into bowls. Top with more preserved lemon, fresh dill, flaky sea salt and a drizzle or two of olive oil as you wish.


  • *Gently rinse the preserved lemon prior to use. This will remove any excess brine. If you can’t find preserved lemon, do not be discouraged; 2 teaspoons of lemon zest can be substituted.
  • Though preserved lemon rind is used in this recipe, the soft pulp can also be enjoyed. Consider pureeing leftover pulp into dressings, dips, and sauces for an added layer of flavor. If you’re a real lemon enthusiast, you may even wish to add some chopped pulp (seeds removed) to this soup!
  • Preserved Lemon, Chickpea Pasta Soup makes for wonderful leftovers. Please note that the pasta will soak up some of the broth as it stands.



  1. Reply


    February 2, 2020

    What a great soup! I’ve never used preserved lemons so this was a fun recipe for me. I especially loved the addition of Dijon mustard. I’ve never thought to add mustard to a soup and it brought a really interesting and absolutely delicious flavor! A lovely and nourishing soup during the cold/flu season and these darker winter months. Thanks, Shannon!

    • Reply


      February 5, 2020

      Thank you for taking the time to share and write such a lovely comment, Steph! It made me smile and I’m glad you enjoyed the flavors of this soup! There’s something so comforting about a nourishing bowl of soup on a wintry day, especially during cold and flu season. Thanks again!