Romani Celebration Soup

Course: Lunch


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Red and black pepper are very popular in Romani cuisine, and this soup is the marrying of these spices in a simple yet delicious way. Pepper, paprika, and other spices, like turmeric and cinnamon, are highly valued not only for their taste but their medicinal properties as well. The combination of fresh herbs, earthy spices, sweet veggies, and spicy pepper is absolutely luscious.


  • 1 sweet Vidalia onion diced

  • 3 cloves garlic minced

  • 1 stalk celery diced

  • 2 medium-sized carrots diced

  • 1 cup Petite Pois (sweet peas), frozen or fresh

  • 1 cup chickpeas (I use canned)

  • 2 cups diced tomatoes

  • 4-5 cups stock (vegetable or chicken works best), depending on how thick you like it

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 dash red pepper

  • 1 dash white pepper

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 handful fresh basil

  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley

  • ½ teaspoon cumin

  • ½ teaspoon turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)

  • Optional lemon juice to garnish


  • Heat the olive oil on medium heat and add the finely chopped onion and garlic. Sautée until clear (about five minutes).
  • Add the chopped celery, carrots, and the dried spices. Cover, stirring occasionally, for an additional 10 minutes. Add a few tablespoons of stock if the veggies seem like they might burn.
  • Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, and stock, and bring to boil. Immediately turn the heat down to medium again and allow the soup to simmer for 15 minutes, partially covered.
  • Then, add the peas and the fresh basil and parsley and simmer for another five minutes.
  • Remove from heat and adjust the seasonings as needed. Serve in colorful bowls with optional lemon wedges on the side


  • Soup is always better the next day when the flavours have had time to meld and mingle. Enjoy this with a hearty loaf of warm crusty bread and some fresh butter.

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