Sourdough soup

Sourdough soup

The Art Of The Larder
Mike Lusmore

Thanks to Tom and Anna Herbert of Hobbs House Bakery, who made this delicious lunch for me after a mammoth sourdough bake-off last summer in their bright bakery classroom. The use of the starter in the soup was an absolute revelation and one that makes brilliant use of any excess starter removed, if you don’t use it to bake bread with and don’t want to just throw it away to make room to feed the sourdough. Not only does it thicken the soup, but it also gives wonderful fruity sour notes to this earthy, punchy soup. Love it.


Quantity Ingredient
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, diced
200g chickpeas, soaked overnight and cooked
or 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
150g red lentils, rinsed
1 x 400g tin of tomatoes
4 celery stalks, sliced or diced
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock, hot, (use boiling water if you like)
300g sourdough starter
freshly ground black pepper
a small bunch fresh coriander, leaves roughly chopped
a small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves roughly chopped
1 lemon, juiced


  1. Put the oil into a heavy-bottomed saucepan over a moderate heat, add the onions and cook until completely soft, about 8–10 minutes.
  2. Add the chickpeas, lentils, tomatoes and celery along with the tomato purée and the spices, and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Add the hot stock and bring to the boil.
  4. Add approximately 2 cupfuls of the hot soup to the sourdough starter and stir in a bowl to combine.
  5. Add the sourdough mix back to the soup and stir thoroughly over a moderate heat – no need to boil, just stir until thickened nicely.
  6. Check the seasoning of the soup, adding a little more hot stock or water if it has become too thick.
  7. Remove the cinnamon sticks, and a few spoonfuls of chickpeas for serving, then blend the soup.
  8. Serve immediately, with some chopped herbs, a few chickpeas, a squeeze of lemon and a hunk of sourdough on the side.
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