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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Garbanzo Bean Soup with Parmesan

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This Garbanzo Bean Soup made with rosemary, diced tomatoes, onions, garlic, and parmesan is a simple recipe with wonderful Tuscan flavors that’s packed with fiber and protein.

italian chickpea soup - garbanzo bean soup - in a white bowl topped with parmesan cheese, top view

This garbanzo bean soup recipe carries a bit of nostalgia for me. Not only is it one of the first dishes I made when I started cooking, but it brings me back to my vacations in Tuscany – where the inspiration for this soup comes from. The first time I made this recipe, I remember how apprehensive I was making soup from scratch (which I had never done before), and how my husband had to be my cheerleader pushing me along.

I also remember the disasters along the way:

  • Putting hot soup into a blender (filling it all the way up), not knowing that the hot soup expands when you turn on the blender, and having chickpea soup explode all over my kitchen – that was a funny (and also mortifying) moment.
  • Using a pot that was too small for the soup to begin with, causing soup to splash all over the newly cleaned stove – that my husband had literally cleaned an hour before
  • Thinking that dinner would be ready by 8pm, but after the disasters and being somewhat of an inexperienced cook, eating dinner around 9:30pm.

Fast forward many years later, and how times have changed!

Soup from scratch is one of my go-to recipes for quick and healthy meals, and thanks to my immersion blender, that blending accident is a distant memory. This dish is actually not a difficult recipe at all, I think my nerves and inexperience just got the better of me that first time around.

Oh and did I mention, even with the first-timer cooking accidents, this soup was absolutely delicious. It has amazing flavors, is warming and totally satisfying. It also packs a nutritional punch with the fiber and protein from the garbanzo beans, and lycopene from the tomatoes.

To all those new cooks out there – I encourage you to try this creamy chickpea soup recipe! It might seem a little daunting at first, but I promise it’s super easy, and once you make it you’ll have a newfound confidence in the kitchen!

👩‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • Healthy Chickpea Soup
  • Super Easy Soup Recipe
  • Hearty Soup
  • Prepare Stovetop or in the Pressure Cooker
  • A creamy soup without any cream!
  • A ton of flavors!

🥘 Ingredients

garbanzo bean soup ingredients

Garbanzo Beans: This recipe calls for three cans of chickpeas, or 45 ounces. Be sure to drain and rinse the beans before adding to your soup pot. If you don’t have chickpeas, you can use a white bean like cannellini beans or great northern beans.

Water or Vegetable Broth: You’ll need 4 cups water or vegetable broth, or a combination of the two.

Vegetables: Diced onion, minced garlic, and canned diced tomatoes round out the vegetables added to this soup. You can also make this garbanzo bean soup with spinach by adding chopped spinach at the very end for some extra greens.

Spices and Seasoning: This thick soup is simply spices with fresh rosemary, kosher salt, black pepper, vinegar, and some grated parmesan cheese on top. Add crushed red pepper flakes for additional spice.

🍽 Equipment

📖 Variations

Added Spices: Consider adding two bay leaves to this garbanzo bean soup to enhance the flavors. Just be sure to remove them before blending.

Thicken the Soup: Tomato paste sdds a rich and deep tomato flavor, as well as helps to thicken the soup.

Make it Chunky: If you’d prefer a chunkier soup, consider adding a cup of black beans or a white bean variety. It will add some more texture as well as protein. Or stir in small shells of cooked pasta.

Thin Out the Soup: If you feel the soup is too thick, add a bit more vegetable broth. If you are not vegetarian, feel free to use chicken broth.

Make This Garbanzo Bean Soup Vegan! All you have to do is omit the parmesan cheese or use a vegan parmesan.

🔪 Instructions

Step 1: Heat oil in a Dutch oven (or a large pot) over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

saute onions for chickpea soup

Step 2: Stir in the cups of water, rosemary, salt, black pepper, chickpeas, and tomatoes.

stir in water for chickpea soup

Step 3: Bring to a boil over high or medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium low, and simmer 20 minutes.

chickpea soup in dutch oven

Step 4: Place 2 cups of soup in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Pour the pureed soup into a bowl. Repeat procedure with 2 cups soup. (Note: the other alternative here is to use an immersion blender in the soup pot as you see in the photos below – it works more quickly and is a lot less messy!)

use immersion blender to blend chickpea soup

Step 5: If using a blender, return all pureed soup to pan. Stir in the vinegar, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.

add vinegar to chickpea soup

Step 6: Spoon 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 6 bowls; sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese. Garnish with fresh herbs like fresh parsley or rosemary.

italian chickpea soup served in a white bowl topped with parmesan cheese, top view

❓ Recipe FAQs

Is Garbanzo Bean Soup Healthy?

In general, yes, these types of easy chickpea soup recipes are usually healthy! Here’s what makes this easy garbanzo bean soup so good for you:

High in Dietary Fiber: The chickpeas in this soup give it lots of fiber which improves digestion and helps you feel fuller longer. One serving has almost 10 grams of fiber.

High in Protein: One serving of this soup has 13 grams of plant protein! That’s almost 20% of your recommended daily value. This is why chickpeas are an excellent replacement for animal protein if you’re on a vegan or vegetarian diet.

Low-Fat and Low-Calorie: With less than 10 grams of fat, and under 400 calories this is a heart healthy low calorie meal.

Will kids enjoy this Italian Chickpea Soup?

My kids adore this delicious soup because it’s creamy, cheesy, and flavorful, and filling. The flavors are mild, and the soup is smooth, just the way they like it! This recipe makes 6 huge servings, so we have some for leftovers, and the kids asked for it for lunch the next day!

How long do you soak dried chickpeas?

If you decide to use dry chickpeas instead of canned chickpeas you’ll want to soak your chickpeas overnight or for at least 12 hours. Cover the chickpeas completely with cold water in a large bowl. You can add a tsp of baking soda to help with the soaking process if you choose.

What do chickpeas taste like?

Chickpeas have a nutty flavor. When blended such as in this soup they take on a creamy texture. They are a hearty bean. When eaten plain they have a bit of a grainy texture that is lost in the blending process.

italian chickpea soup in a white bowl topped with parmesan cheese

👪 How to Serve

Serve this garbanzo bean soup in a deep bowl. This soup is filling and hearty on its own, but you can add some vegetables or grains on the side for more good nutrients and vitamins. Here are a few of my favorites.

  • Grilled asparagus, bell peppers, or small zucchinis
  • Tossed green salad with balsamic vinaigrette
  • Steamed broccoli
  • With some whole grain, crusty bread
  • Roasted root vegetables
  • Homemade whole grain garlic bread (made with fresh garlic and grass fed butter!)

❄️ How to Store

Refrigerator: Allow to cool to room temperature. Transfer to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Freeze: This soup also freezes well! Transfer to a freezer safe container. Keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, or reheat on the stovetop when ready to enjoy.

💭 Expert Tips

  • Use a large dutch oven or stock pot. This recipe makes a lot of soup!
  • Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil before adding other ingredients. Be careful not to burn the onions, and cook until translucent.
  • Drain and rinse chickpeas before adding them to the soup.
  • If using a counter top blender, don’t make the same mistake I did the first time and fill the blender to the top with soup! It will expand and you’ll have a messy kitchen.
  • Scoop 2 cups at a time into the blender or food processor, or use an immersion blender directly in the pot to save you time and mess.
  • For some additional greens in the soup, add in 6oz of fresh baby spinach before pureeing it. You won’t be able to taste the spinach at all and you’ll get some extra nutrients! If you do add in spinach I recommend adjusting the salt pepper and rosemary to taste.
italian garbanzo bean soup

🍲 More Delicious Recipes For Vegan Soup!

If you have tried this recipe, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below!

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📋 Recipe Card

italian chickpea soup
Print Recipe
4.6 from 10 votes

Garbanzo Bean Soup

This Italian Chickpea Soup made with rosemary, diced tomatoes, onions, garlic, and parmesan is a simple recipe with wonderful Tuscan flavors that's packed with fiber and protein.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Low Calorie, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 286.5kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 cups water or low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary or ¼ tsp dried
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 45 oz chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained 3 cans
  • 15 oz diced tomatoes, undrained 1 can
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese 1½ ounces
  • 6 oz fresh baby spinach chopped, optional if you want extra greens

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven (or a large pot) over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Stir in the water, rosemary, salt, pepper, tomatoes, and drained and rinsed chickpeas, and bring to a boil. Note: If using spinach, add it in here. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.
  • Place 2 cups soup in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Pour the pureed soup into a bowl. Repeat procedure with 2 cups soup. (Note: the other alternative here is to use a hand blender – it works a lot more quickly and is a lot less messy!)
  • If using a blender, return all pureed soup to pan.
  • Stir in the vinegar, and bring to a boil.
  • Remove from heat. Spoon 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 6 bowls; sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese.

Notes

Top Tips for Making Italian Chickpea Soup
  • Use a large dutch oven or stock pot. This recipe makes a lot of soup!
  • Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil before adding other ingredients. Be careful not to burn the onions, and cook until translucent.
  • Drain and rinse chickpeas before adding them to the soup.
  • If using a counter top blender, don’t make the same mistake I did the first time and fill the blender to the top with soup! It will expand and you’ll have a messy kitchen.
  • Scoop 2 cups at a time into the blender or food processor, or use an immersion blender directly in the pot to save you time and mess!
  • For some additional greens in the soup, add in 6oz of fresh baby spinach before pureeing it. You won’t be able to taste the spinach at all and you’ll get some extra nutrients! If you do add in spinach I recommend adjusting the salt pepper and rosemary to taste.
Nutritional Info uses water and includes baby spinach. Adapted from MyRecipes

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 286.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 5.9g | Saturated Fat: 1.5g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 635mg | Potassium: 448mg | Fiber: 9.8g | Sugar: 2.8g

Posted In…

Soups ·

Soups can be hearty enough for a cozy winter meal, or fresh and light like my summery cucumber gazpacho. My family’s favorite option is the best vegetarian chili ever!

Whether you like your soups smooth or full of healthy chunks, my recipes will help you combine fresh, flavorful ingredients into a filling, balanced meal.

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