François de MélogueProvencal RecipesSoupTaste

Provencal Chickpea Soup Satisfying for Everyone

Last spring, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we were all craving warm, comfort food. This Provencal Chickpea Soup seemed the perfect answer to the strange environment we were suddenly facing. Also known as Fourmade, it is at its very core a hearty soup made by impoverished people to provide an inexpensive and healthy filling meal. This soup is surprisingly rich and luxurious tasting. Once you make the basic recipe, try embellishing it with leeks, chickpeas, grated Parmesan, cooked rice or even croutons fried in olive oil. My inspiration for this delicious creation came from two sources: Soupo de Cece (from Chef J.B. Reboul) and Marcella Hazan’s version (see note below).  Suitable for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diets, the recipe ingredients are few, and you can play with additional toppings.

Provencal Chickpea Soup

Provencal Chickpea Soup (Fourmade)

Chef François de Mélogue
Easy to master: Provencal chickpea soup is so surprisingly rich and luxurious tasting that even my 9-year-old son is convinced it has cream.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 6 servings



  • 1 cup (128g) Chickpea Flour
  • 2 quarts (1.9L) Cool Water 8 cups
  • 1 tsp Herbes de Provence
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper or Espelette (or nothing)
  • 2 tsp Flaked Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) Olive Oil

Optional ingredients:

  • 2 Leeks washed well and diced
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 15 oz (425g) Canned Chickpeas


  • Put chickpea flour, water, herbes, cumin, Aleppo, salt, pepper, and oil into a blender and blend until smooth, about 15 seconds.
  • Pour the contents into a Dutch oven and heat slowly over low to medium heat until hot, about 30 minutes, stirring often. Adjust seasoning to your taste.

Optional Additions:

  • For the leeks, slowly cook washed leeks in olive oil over a low flame at a grandmotherly pace until they almost melt, about 30 minutes. Add to soup.
  • For the chickpeas, open can and add both the liquid and the chickpeas.


Tip: Use a whisk to stir the soup to keep it from scorching on the bottom. There is nothing worse than eating gritty leeks, but I learned a trick for easily cleaning them. Dice the leeks and cover them with cold water in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and agitate the water. The salt acts as an abrasive, and the dirt and sand will settle to the bottom of the bowl. With a slotted spoon, scoop the leeks out of the water. Do not pour the leeks and water through a strainer because you would just be pouring the sand back over the leeks.
Marcella Hazan Version: In her lovely book, Marcella Cucina, Marcella offers a simple variation made without chickpea flour. Simply slowly cook leeks, add cooked chickpeas and water and simmer until done. Puree a few ladle fulls of soup and add back to the broth. Finish soup with grated Parmesan and black pepper.
Keyword Chickpeas, Soups
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Other Soup Recipes from Provence:

Marseille Fish Soup – Soupe de Poisson

Butternut Squash Soup with Mushrooms and Hazelnuts

Coconut Curry Chicken Soup

Creamy Mushroom and Chestnut Soup


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Chef François de Mélogue

François de Mélogue grew up in a very French household in Chicago. His earliest attempts at cookery began with the filleting of his sister’s goldfish at age two and a braised rabbit dish made with his pet rabbits by age seven. He eventually stopped cooking his pets and went to the highly esteemed New England Culinary Institute, where he graduated top of his class in 1985.

Chef François has over 30 years of cross-cultural culinary experience and brings an impressive culinary history and a unique Mediterranean cooking style. After graduating top of his class from the notable New England Culinary Institute, Chef François began his career in a number of highly acclaimed kitchens across the country, including Chef Louis Szathmary’s restaurant The Bakery in Chicago, Old Drovers Inn, a Relais and Chateaux property in New York and Joel Robuchon Gastronomie restaurant in Paris, before opening award-winning restaurant Pili Pili in his hometown of Chicago, rated in the Top Ten new restaurants in the World by Food and Wine magazine in 2003.

Chef François resides in St Albans, Vermont with his wife Lisa and ten-year-old son Beaumont, who has proclaimed himself the family saucier. Chef François' latest publication French Cooking for Beginners: 75+ Classic Recipes to Cook Like a Parisian takes you on a culinary journey well beyond the streets of Paris. Francois is a professional photographer specializing in food/product photography, real estate photography and shooting rural landscapes of Vermont and France. Explore his work on

Take a look at his website Simple French Cooking filled with delicious recipes and beautiful photos. Also follow Francois on Medium for more tempting dishes Pistou and Pastis.


  1. Libby Dodd
    February 19, 2022 at 11:50 am — Reply

    “Pour the contents into a Dutch oven and heat slowly over low to medium heat until hot, about 30 minutes, stirring often. Adjust seasoning to your taste.”
    30 minutes?! That seems like a really long time to cook this part.

    • February 19, 2022 at 2:17 pm — Reply

      Hello, Thank you for reading/following Perfectly Provence. The soup is probably ready in under 30 minutes, but I know Chef François like to enjoy the process. If you are adding leeks, it is better to let the soup cook a bit longer.

  2. February 20, 2022 at 5:49 am — Reply

    Good Morning Libby! Thanks for checking out my recipe. My initial reaction would be 30 minutes is not that long – I suppose I cook slowly. Part of the reason to go slower – heating the soup up over low to medium heat is that chickpea flour can lump or settle at the bottom of your pan and scorch if heated too quickly. I suppose if you were stirring quite a bit and not sipping a glass of rose, that you could do this quicker. However you do it please share your results and have a fantastic day! Francois

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