The humble chickpea is often a supporting player in a soup recipe, but in this Chickpea Soup, it takes center stage! While the credits include a garlicky broth, kale, and tender potatoes, along with a generous amount of rosemary and a squeeze of lemon juice, the true star of this cozy dish is undeniably our friend the garbanzo bean.
Why You’ll Love This Simple Chickpea Soup Recipe
- A Rustic Soup for Chilly Days. The weather outside is frightful, but a pot of chickpea soup is so delightful! This is not the kind of smooth pureed soup you get as a starter at fancy restaurants (looking at you, Asparagus Soup!), but a thick, rustic soup like Pasta Fagioli that fills you up and warms your soul.
- Healthy and Satisfying. Chickpeas are not only delicious and versatile—I mean, you can use them in everything from Chickpea Curry to Chickpea Salad—but they also pack a lot of nutritional value. Chickpeas are an excellent source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- Budget-Friendly Meal. Because you can’t have filet mignon for dinner every night! Like my reliable Lentil Soup, this chickpea soup is made with affordable ingredients that come together to make a flavorful, hearty meal.
- Pasta e Ceci, Sans Pasta. If you enjoy pasta e ceci, this chickpea soup has a similar vibe thanks to the rich broth, Parm, and rosemary—but swaps the pasta for potatoes.
- Make It Yours. One of the best things about any soup, from Minestrone Soup to Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup, is that it’s super customizable. Want to make it spicier? Add some red pepper flakes. Eating a plant-based diet? Use vegetable broth and your favorite vegan Parmesan.
How to Make Chickpea Soup
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. For sautéing our veggies.
- Yellow Onion, Carrots, and Garlic. Three ingredients that kick off our soup by creating a base of savory flavor.
- Kosher Salt and Black Pepper. Two more essentials for soup!
- Chickpeas. Rinse them well to reduce sodium and get rid of that canned bean flavor.
- Low-Sodium Broth. Either vegetable or chicken broth. Using low-sodium broth gives you more control over the flavor of the finished soup.
- Potato. I recommend Russet or Yukon gold.
- Bay Leaf. Do bay leaves really do anything? Yes, they do! They’ll infuse your chickpea soup with herbal notes.
- Fresh Rosemary. I adore rosemary in this soup, but thyme would also be fantastic.
- Freshly-Squeezed Lemon Juice. Be sure to use fresh lemon juice, not bottled. It tastes completely different!
- Kale. Chop it into small pieces that will fit into a spoon.
- Grated Parmesan. The finishing touch for depth and umami.
- Cook the Vegetables. Let them become tender.
- Add the Garlic and Chickpeas. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.
- Simmer. Until the potatoes are tender.
- Puree. Remove the bay leaf, then puree the soup to thicken it a bit.
- Simmer Again. Simmer partially covered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Finish. Stir in the remaining ingredients and cook until the kale wilts. Season to taste, garnish with additional cheese, and ENJOY!
- Use Another Green. If you’re not a fan of kale, feel free to substitute spinach, Swiss chard, or another hearty green. (If you’re using a bitter green like mustard greens, I recommend blanching it in a separate pot to tame some of the bitterness and keep that flavor out of the soup.)
- Add a Parmesan Rind. If you have a leftover Parmesan rind, add it to the soup while it’s simmering for an extra boost of flavor. Keep in mind that you’ll need less salt if you do this.
- Cook Your Own Chickpeas. While canned chickpeas are convenient, you can also cook your own for this soup. Ceci piccoli, which are miniature chickpeas, are a delight in soup recipes.
- Add Sausage. Like my Kale Soup, this chickpea soup would be fabulous with some spicy Italian sausage added in. Just brown it along with the onions and carrots.
- To Store. Keep leftover chickpea soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Gently warm leftovers on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze chickpea soup in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Prep Tip
You can get a little bit of a head start on this recipe by chopping the vegetables a day or two in advance and storing them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook.
What to Serve with Chickpea Soup
- Salad. A simple green salad like my Arugula Salad pairs well with this soup. Or, complement the Italian flavors in the recipe with Antipasto Salad or Burrata Salad.
- Bread. Crusty bread is perfect for soaking up the broth of this soup. Buy some from your favorite bakery or try my Rosemary Olive Oil Bread or Crock Pot Bread.
- Focaccia. No Knead Focaccia also makes for a fantastic pairing with chickpea soup.
- Chickpeas. Top your chickpea soup with more chickpeas! Instead of croutons, garnish with Roasted Chickpeas for crunch.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Dutch Oven. A Dutch oven is a must-have for making soups and stews, as it allows for even heat distribution.
- Ladle. A ladle is essential for serving soup mess-free.
- Chef’s Knife. A good, sharp knife makes prepping the vegetables for this soup a breeze.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Thoroughly Wash the Kale. A quick rinse isn’t enough! It’s essential to wash the kale well before adding it to the soup, as it can often have dirt and grit trapped in its leaves.
- Use a High-Quality Broth. A flavorful broth or stock will significantly enhance the flavor of this soup. Avoid using bouillon cubes or canned broth, as they can be overly salty or have off-flavors.
- Cut the Onion and Carrots into Uniform Sizes. This will ensure that the vegetables cook evenly so you’re not left with hard carrots and crunchy onions in your chickpea soup.
- Grate Your Own Parmesan. Whether it’s Kale Pasta or Grilled Zucchini, freshly grated Parmesan cheese has a much better flavor and meltability than pre-grated cheese. Plus, you can use the leftover rind to add even more depth to the soup by adding it during the simmering process, as described above.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 2 carrots peeled and ½-inch diced (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 garlic cloves minced (about 4 teaspoons)
- 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth or chicken broth
- 1 medium potato peeled and ½-inch diced (russet or Yukon gold)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup packed finely chopped kale
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan plus additional for serving
- In a Dutch oven or similar large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot and shimmering, the onion, carrots, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is turning translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and chickpeas. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the broth, potato, bayleaf, and rosemary. Increase the heat to bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
- Fish out and discard the bayleaf. With an immersion blender, lightly puree the soup, leaving a good number of the chickpeas intact (this will thicken the soup—you can also blend a few ladles of the soup in a regular blender, then add it back to the pot). Stir, partially cover the pot, and simmer 10 minutes to reduce. Stir every few minutes, scraping along the bottom of the pot to prevent sticking.
- Stir in the kale, lemon juice, and Parmesan. Let simmer until the kale is tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as desired. Serve hot with a sprinkle of additional Parmesan.
- TO STORE: Keep leftover chickpea soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: Gently warm leftovers on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze chickpea soup in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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