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Photo credit Rachel Navins


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A comforting rich soup for the cold days ahead.

  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4



For the broth:

  • 6 cups cold water
  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces, skin removed
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp whole cumin seeds
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas, divided

  For the chicken dumplings:

  • 1 ½ lb ground dark meat chicken
  • ½ cup chickpea flour
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • kosher salt
  • thinly sliced carrot, celery or cilantro leaves, toasted cumin seeds, to serve


  1. In a large pot, combine cold water, chicken, carrots, onion, celery and cumin seeds. Bring to a simmer and skim off any foam that rises to the top. Let it bubble on low heat for at least 45 minutes and up to two hours.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, smash ⅔ cup of the chickpeas with a fork, reserving the rest for the soup. Add the ground chicken, chickpea flour, olive oil, egg, ground cumin and turmeric and salt. Stir completely and let rest while the stock simmers.
  3. Taste the broth after 45 minutes. Depending on how strongly flavored you’d like it to be, leave it to cook for another hour or strain it out into another pot, bringing it back to a simmer. (Reserve the chicken for serving or refrigerate and make into chicken salad or turn into tacos.)
  4. Slightly dampen your hands and form the chicken mixture into balls just a bit smaller than a golf ball. You should get about 12. Gently add to the broth, one at a time, making sure they don’t touch. 
  5. Simmer for 45 minutes. When ready, they will float and when cut in to will be cooked through. Cut one in half to check and return to the broth if the dumpling is not completely done.
  6. Shred the reserved cooked chicken and add to the broth to warm (optional), along with the remaining chickpeas. Taste the broth and add salt as needed.
  7. To serve, ladle into bowls, garnish with thinly sliced carrot, celery or cilantro leaves, and/or toasted cumin seeds.


The meatballs and broth can be stored separately in the refrigerator for up to four days. You can use store-bought chicken broth instead of making a broth from scratch.

  • Author: Rachael Narins
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1-2 hours
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Persian