This cozy and flavorful Smoky Mediterranean Chickpea Soup is a nourishing combination of chickpeas, sweet potatoes and tomatoes mixed with earthy spices and simmered in vegetable broth with a squeeze of fresh lemon.
This is a vegan chickpea soup. It is also gluten-free, dairy-free and has no added sugars!
Smoky Mediterranean Chickpea Soup is perfect for a chilly fall or winter day when you want something healthy that will still satisfy you. It’s a good soup for a plant-based dinner and you'll have plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day! Plus, it freezes well if you want to make it ahead of time. It’s a great recipe to bring to friends as a comfort dish, too.
- What You’ll Love About Chickpea Soup
- Ingredients for Smoky Mediterranean Chickpea Soup
- Instructions for Smoky Mediterranean Chickpea Soup
- Variations of Chickpea Soup
- Chickpea Soup Toppings
- Meal Prep and Storage
- Expert Tips
- What to serve with Chickpea Soup
- LOOKING FOR NUTRITION EDUCATION?
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
What You’ll Love About Chickpea Soup
As a dietitian, I try to eat plant-based meals like this Smoky Mediterranean Chickpea Soup a few times a week, especially on a week when I’m really zeroed in on healthy eating. Hearty chickpeas are a good source of fiber and protein. Just half a cup has as much protein as a whole egg and 21% of your daily fiber needs! Plus, they contain tons of other nutrients- manganese, folate, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium just to name a few!
This Chickpea Soup has other ingredients that are rich in fiber and nutrients including sweet potatoes, crushed tomatoes, celery, and carrots! Garlic is good for your immune system and extra virgin olive oil is a source of Omega-3s, which are a great way to support heart and brain health.
This easy Chickpea Soup recipe uses lots of budget-friendly ingredients you likely already have in your pantry anyway! And since cans of chickpeas are cheaper than other protein sources like meat and eggs, this is an easy way to make a whole meal for less money. At the time of this post, this recipe averages to $1.80 per serving (not including the spices which I already had on hand).
This is a simple recipe that anyone with a large pot or dutch oven and stovetop can make! All it takes is a little bit of chopping and heating.
Something about the combination of spices, lemon, chickpeas, and veggies honestly just comes together so perfectly. Just trust me on this! It’s a unique flavor and has become one of my favorite go-to soups! I hope it becomes a favorite for you, too!
Ingredients for Smoky Mediterranean Chickpea Soup
*Be sure to check the recipe card at the bottom for exact ingredient measurements and full recipe.
For this Chickpea Soup recipe, you'll use super simple Ingredients:
Chickpeas: the main ingredient! I use canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed to get off some of the extra sodium. You could use dried chickpeas too, but be sure to cook them in advance of making the soup. Note: Garbanzo beans and chickpeas are the same thing!
Sweet Potato: add a level of heartiness and complex carbs with fiber to keep you full longer and help with your gut health. As bonus, you get some extra Vitamin A for your eye health which is super important for people who spent a lot of time in front of a screen!
Crushed Tomatoes: for more added flavor and nutrients! Tomatoes are high in Vitamin C, potassium, and a nutrient called lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant that may protect against things like cancer and heart disease.
Carrot and Celery: I use fresh carrots from the farmers market when I can. If not, I choose a whole carrot at the local grocery store. The best way to get the right flavor is to use a whole carrot. Baby carrots lack the sweetness of whole “adult” carrots.
Yellow Onion and minced Garlic: aromatic vegetables to add flavor to the dish and get your kitchen smelling amazing as a bonus!
(Optional) Handful of Spinach: If you want to add even more nutrition, leafy greens are an amazing source of antioxidants and vitamins that help with skin health, brain health, gut health, and more. Feel free to leave the spinach out if greens aren’t your thing. There are plenty of other amazing ingredients to get nutrition and flavor from in this vegan chickpea soup.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: a perfect base for a robust soup that mixes great with the Mediterranean flavors in this soup.
Vegetable Broth: for vegan chickpea soup, vegetable broth is perfect. I use vegetable broth anytime I am making a plant-based soup!
Lemon Juice: freshly squeezed lemon juice added at the end really makes the flavors pop! Plus, it’s added Vitamin C to help boost your immune system during soup season.
Spices for Vegan Chickpea Soup
Fresh thyme: fresh herbs like thyme are perfect for added flavor, especially when they are in season!
Smoked Paprika: this is THE ingredient. It adds a slightly smoky quality that makes this soup truly unique and special. You can find it at most grocery stores or order it on Amazon.
Cumin: a warm, earthy flavor. Plus, it’s a source of antioxidants!
Coriander: adds an almost citrusy and peppery flavor.
Turmeric: turmeric has many health benefits. It is an anti-inflammatory spice that adds a peppery, earthy flavor.
Salt and Black Pepper: to tie all the flavors in this simple recipe together.
Instructions for Smoky Mediterranean Chickpea Soup
Step 1: Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, carrot, celery and sweet potato. Heat, stirring frequently for about 8 minutes or until the potatoes start to soften.
Step 2: Add the chickpeas, fresh thyme, and spices to the pot and stir for 1-2 minutes. Then add the vegetable broth and crushed tomato and bring the pot to a boil. Let it boil for about 5 minutes and then lower the heat.
Step 3: Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes. The cooking time will vary but it’s done cooking when the chickpeas, potatoes, carrots, and celery are tender.
Step 4: Turn off heat. While soup is still hot, squeeze half a lemon in and add a handful of spinach (optional).
Step 5: if you prefer a more creamy chickpea soup, blend about 2 cups of the soup with an immersion blender, in a standing blender or with a food processor.
Step 6: Top with fresh parsley or whatever else you love!
Here are some ingredient substitutions you could make in this simple Chickpea Soup!
- Chickpeas: if you don’t like chickpeas, you can substitute them with white beans like cannellini beans.
- Oil: swap avocado oil in place of extra virgin olive oil.
- Paprika: I prefer the taste of smoky paprika. But if you aren’t a fan of the smoky flavor, you can absolutely swap it for regular paprika.
- Broth: swap chicken broth for the vegetable broth for an added depth of flavor.
- Tomatoes: use diced tomatoes instead of crushed tomatoes if you want a chunkier soup.
- Thyme: use dried thyme instead of fresh. Just be sure to adjust the amount accordingly. Use 1 tablespoon if you’re doing fresh and ⅓ teaspoon if you’re doing dried.
Variations of Chickpea Soup
- Low Carb: Cut some of the carbs by making it without the sweet potato. But keep in mind you’ll be missing out on some of the fiber and nutrients provided by the potatoes!
- Spicy: if you want to make this hearty chickpea soup spicy, add some red pepper flakes or chili powder.
- Fancy: if you want to step it up a notch: for an Italian chickpea soup, add parmesan cheese and red bell peppers. Add orzo and feta cheese on top to make it more like a greek chickpea soup.
- Kid friendly: top this easy recipe with saltines or cheese.
Chickpea Soup Toppings
I love topping this with fresh parsley and a little bit of greek yogurt!
Meal Prep and Storage
If you want to prep ahead, simply chop your sweet potato, onion, carrots, and celery in advance so they’ll be ready to go when you make the soup!
Let soup cool to room temperature before storing it.
Refrigerator: store in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat leftover soup in the microwave or on medium-high heat on the stove.
Freezer: store in a freezer-friendly container for up to 3 months. To reheat from frozen, thaw the vegan chickpea soup in the refrigerator overnight and then heat it in the microwave or on the stovetop.
- Be sure to drain and rinse the canned chickpeas before adding them to the soup!
- If you want an even more creamy soup, you can blend it all with an immersion blender. I prefer to blend about half of the soup and leave the other half as-is.
Absolutely! From a nutritional perspective, this soup is full of complex carbohydrates including fiber, heart-healthy fats and plant protein. It also has a lot of vitamins and nutrients.
Yes! Chickpeas are a complete protein. This means they have all nine essential amino acids. Needless to say, they are an excellent protein source for a plant-based meal like vegan chickpea soup.
Garbanzo beans and chickpeas are interchangeable names for the same thing so look for either name on the label!
What to serve with Chickpea Soup
Eat it by itself or serve it with a side of brown rice or a Beet and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese. I love to serve this healthy chickpea soup with a slice of crusty sourdough bread, too!
Here are some more nourishing recipes you may like!
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Smoky Mediterranean Chickpea Soup (Easy Recipe!)
- 1 large pot or dutch oven
- 1 sharp kitchen knife
- 1 immersion blender, standing blender, or food processor
- 2 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 small sweet potato, diced
- 2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried)
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice (juice of ½ a lemon)
- handful spinach
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, carrot, celery and sweet potato. Heat, stirring frequently for about 8 minutes or until the potatoes start to soften.
- Add the chickpeas, fresh thyme, and spices to the pot and stir for 1-2 minutes. Then add the vegetable broth and crushed tomato and bring the pot to a boil. Let it boil for about 5 minutes and then lower the heat.
- Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes. The cooking time will vary but it’s done cooking when the chickpeas, carrots, and celery are tender.
- Turn off heat. While soup is still hot, squeeze half a lemon in and add a handful of spinach (optional).
- If you prefer a more creamy chickpea soup, blend about 2 cups of the soup with an immersion blender, in a standing blender or with a food processor.
- Top with fresh parsley (optional).