Blissful Balilah: Chickpea Soup with Succulent Lamb


Savor the soul-warming comfort of Balilah, a traditional Middle Eastern soup that marries the heartiness of chickpeas with the richness of lamb. This dish is a symphony of flavors, featuring tender lamb pieces, creamy chickpeas, and aromatic spices, all coming together in a nourishing broth. Ideal for chilly evenings or as a satisfying meal any time of the year, Balilah is a testament to the wholesome simplicity of Middle Eastern cuisine.

Blissful Balilah: Chickpea Soup with Succulent Lamb

Preparation and Cooking Times

  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Servings and Serving Size

  • Servings: Makes about 6 servings
  • Serving Size: 1 bowl

Nutritional Profile (per serving)

  • Calories: 320 kcal
  • Protein: 18g
  • Carbohydrates: 30g
  • Fat: 15g
  • Sodium: 500mg
  • Fiber: 6g


  • Lamb shoulder, cut into chunks: 500g (1.1 lbs / 17.6 oz)
  • Chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained: 400g (0.88 lbs / 14 oz)
  • Onion, chopped: 200g (0.44 lbs / 7 oz)
  • Garlic cloves, minced: 15g (0.03 lbs / 0.5 oz)
  • Ground cumin: 5g (0.01 lbs / 0.17 oz)
  • Ground coriander: 5g (0.01 lbs / 0.17 oz)
  • Olive oil: 30ml (1 oz)
  • Chicken or lamb broth: 1.5 liters (50.7 oz)
  • Salt and pepper: To taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped: For garnish

Detailed Method of Preparation

  1. Brown Lamb: In a large pot, heat olive oil. Add lamb and brown on all sides.
  2. Sauté Aromatics: Add onions and garlic to the pot and sauté until softened.
  3. Add Spices: Stir in cumin and coriander, cooking for a minute.
  4. Cook Soup: Add chickpeas and broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 1.5 hours or until the lamb and chickpeas are tender.
  5. Season and Serve: Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh parsley before serving.

Tips for Culinary Success

  • Chickpea Preparation: Ensure chickpeas are well soaked for a creamy texture.
  • Lamb Quality: Use fresh, high-quality lamb for the best flavor.
  • Simmering Time: Adjust simmering time based on the tenderness of the lamb and chickpeas.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use canned chickpeas? 

Yes, but reduce cooking time since canned chickpeas are already cooked.

How can I store leftovers? 

Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Can I make this soup vegetarian? 

Yes, omit the lamb and use vegetable broth for a vegetarian version.