Suzy Karadsheh, food creator and cookbook author of “The Mediterranean Dish,” shared easy soup recipes for a healthy start to the new year.

Mediterranean-Style Turmeric Lemon Chicken Soup

Karadsheh dubbed this specialty soup “a hug in a bowl.”


1 pound boneless chicken breast

1 yellow onion, quartered

4 large garlic cloves, divided (2 whole, 2 minced)

Extra virgin olive oil

2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced into rounds

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon Aleppo Pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

2 cups baby spinach

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Juice and zest of 2 lemons

Mediterranean lemon chicken soup.

The Mediterranean Dish


In a large Dutch oven or pot, combine the chicken with 6 cups of water. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add the onion and 2 whole garlic cloves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat and let simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.

When ready, remove the chicken from the pot and carefully shred it using two forks. Strain the broth using a mesh strainer over a large bowl. Discard the onion and garlic. Set the broth in its bowl aside for now.Carefully wipe the pot and return to the heat. Add a couple tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and warm over medium heat. Add the minced garlic, carrots, and spices.

Return the shredded chicken to the pot. Stir to combine. Season with kosher salt.

Add the cooking broth and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low, and cover partly. Cook for another 15 to 20 minutes (the carrots should be tender and cooked through).

Stir in the spinach, herbs, and lemon juice and zest. Transfer to serving bowls. Enjoy!

Easy Mediterranean Chickpea Soup Recipe

PHOTO: Mediterranean chickpea soup.

Mediterranean chickpea soup.

The Mediterranean Dish


Extra virgin olive oil

1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and cut into rounds

1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped

Kosher salt

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger, more or less to your liking

2 15- ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon cumin

3/4 teaspoon turmeric

Dash red pepper flakes, I used Aleppo pepper

1 15- ounce can crushed tomatoes

6 cups vegetable broth

Juice of 1 to 2 limes

1 cup packed chopped fresh parsley


In a large Dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the sweet potatoes, onions, celery, carrots and bell peppers. Season with kosher salt. Cook, tossing regularly, for 7 minutes or until the sweet potatoes have softened. Add the garlic, ginger, chickpeas, and spices. Cook for another 5 minutes, tossing regularly.Add the crushed tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot part-way and cook over medium-low heat for 25 minutes or until the flavors meld.Turn the heat off. Add the lime juice and fresh cilantro or parsley, and a little more fresh ginger. Enjoy!

Turkish Lentil Soup (Kirmizi Mercimek Corbasi)

PHOTO: A bowl of Turkish lentil soup.

A bowl of Turkish lentil soup.

The Mediterranean Dish

IngredientsExtra virgin olive oil1 medium yellow onion, chopped3 garlic cloves, minced, divided2 to 3 carrots, peeled and chopped1 medium russet potato, peeled and small diced or choppedKosher salt2 tablespoons tomato paste6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper, divided1 teaspoon cumin½ teaspoon coriander1 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed 1 large lemon, cut into wedges


In a large Dutch oven or cooking pot, heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onions, 2 minced garlic cloves, carrots, and potatoes. Season with a good dash of kosher salt, and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables have softened (about 5 to 7 minutes). Add the tomato paste and toss to coat the vegetables with the paste, then add the broth 1 teaspoon of Aleppo-style pepper and the rest of the spices.Add the lentils and stir. Allow the soup to come to a rolling boil for 4 to 5 minutes, then lower the heat and cover the Dutch oven with the lid leaving a small opening. Let the soup simmer on the lowest heat setting for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the lentils and the vegetables are completely tender. (Check occasionally and give the soup a stir as needed. If it is getting too thick, add a little bit more vegetable broth about ½ to 1 cup more). Remove the pot from the heat and carefully blend the soup using an immersion blender until smooth and creamy (alternatively, you can transfer the soup to the bowl of a large food processor fitted with a blade. Close the lid and blend until smooth). To finish, in a small skillet, warm about 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the remaining Aleppo pepper and minced garlic and cook briefly until the garlic is golden brown and the oil has taken on a red hue from the Aleppo pepper. Remove from the heat and pour the warmed oil all over the soup. Serve with lemon wedges to the side.

Vegan Quinoa Chili with a Mediterranean Twist

PHOTO: A bowl of vegan quinoa chili.

A bowl of vegan quinoa chili.

The Mediterranean Dish

Ingredients1/2 cup quinoa (uncooked)1 cup waterExtra virgin olive oil1/2 yellow onion, chopped4 garlic cloves, chopped1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped2 cups chopped canned tomatoes with their juices4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth3 tsp ground chili pepper1 tsp sweet paprika1 tsp ground cuminSalt and pepper1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed1 15-oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsedFresh parsley for garnish1 jalapeno, sliced (optional)


In a small saucepan, combine quinoa and water. Cook over medium heat for about 10 to 15 minutes until the water is absorbed (quinoa will be partially cooked.) Remove from heat and set aside till later. In a large saucepan or pot, heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add onions, garlic, and peppers. Cook for 4 minutes or so, tossing regularly, until softened. Add the chopped tomatoes, broth, and spices. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.Stir in black beans, kidney beans, and quinoa. Lower heat and let simmer for 25 minutes.Remove from heat. Stir in parsley and jalapeno slices, if using. Transfer to serving bowls. Enjoy!

Recipes reprinted courtesy of The Mediterranean Dish.

By Taba