Silverbeet soup with chickpeas and barley

Silverbeet soup with chickpeas and barley

Lisa Cohen and William Meppem

This soup was inspired by a dish we ate at the Müzedechanga restaurant at Istanbul’s Sabanci Museum. We’d just visited a fascinating exhibition about Ghengis Khan and ate lunch in the sunshine looking out over the beautiful museum gardens, with the Bosphorus in the distance.

The soup was full of silverbeet and chickpeas – just the sort of earthy flavours I love – and the pearl barley gave it a lovely chewiness. Even though it’s not really Turkish, I can’t resist serving this soup with a dollop of yoghurt.


Quantity Ingredient
160g dried chickpeas
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
3 sticks celery, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 sprigs thyme
220g silverbeet leaves, stems removed and shredded
100g pearl barley
1.5 litres * chicken stock [rid:9962]
2 bay leaves
1 long red chilli, seeded and shredded
1/2 vine-ripened tomato, seeded and diced
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
lemon juice, to serve
thick natural yoghurt, to serve


  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight in plenty of cold water.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Sauté the onion, celery and garlic over a low heat for 5–8 minutes, until the vegetables soften. Add the spices, thyme and silverbeet, then toss everything around in the pan for a few moments.
  3. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add them to the pan with the pearl barley, stock and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, for around an hour or until the chickpeas and barley are tender.
  4. Add the chilli and tomato and season generously with salt and pepper. When ready to serve, remove the bay leaves and the thyme stalks. Ladle the hot soup into warmed bowls, then add a squeeze of lemon juice and a generous spoonful of yoghurt to each.
Middle Eastern
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again