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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!

Italian Chickpea Soup with Parmesan

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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.

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

This Italian Chickpea 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!

italian chickpea soup in a white bowl topped with parmesan cheese

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 is tasty, warming and has a great mediterranean flavor. It also packs a nutritional punch with the fiber and protein from the chickpeas, and lycopene from the tomatoes.

To all those new cooks out there – I encourage you to try this recipe. It might seem a little daunting at first but once you make it and it turns out to be delicious (and I promise, it will), you’ll have a newfound confidence in the kitchen!

Kitchen Tools and Equipment You’ll Need to Make Tuscan Italian Chickpea Soup

italian chickpea soup ingredients - olive oil, tomatoes, onions, chickpeas, parmesan, spices

How to Make Italian Chickpea Soup – Step by Step

Step 1: 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.

saute onions for chickpea soup

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

stir in water for chickpea soup

Step 3: Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, 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 as you see in the photos below – it works more quickly and is a lot less messy!)

immersion blender in chickpea soup
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.

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

What makes this Italian Chickpea Soup healthy?

  • High in Fiber: The chickpeas in this soup give it lots of fiber which improves digestion and helps you feel fuller longer.
  • High in Protein: One serving of this soup has 13 grams of plant protein! That’s almost 20% of your recommended daily protein. 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.
  • High in Vitamins and Minerals: Chickpeas contain folate, iron, phosphorous, copper, and manganese. And the tomatoes in this soup are rich in lycopene!

Will kids enjoy this Italian Chickpea Soup?

My kids adore this 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!

italian chickpea soup

How long do you soak dried chickpeas?

If you decide to use dried 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

What do you serve with Italian Chickpea Soup?

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
  • Tossed green salad with balsamic vinaigrette
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Roasted root vegetables
  • Homemade whole grain garlic bread (made with fresh garlic and grass fed butter!)

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.
italian chickpea soup served in a white bowl with a spoon

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THESE OTHER HEALTHY SOUP RECIPES!

If you have tried this Italian Chickpea Soup recipe, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

italian chickpea soup
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Italian Chickpea 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
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 1/4 tsp dried
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 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 1 1/2 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. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.
  • 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.
  • 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
Tuscan Chickpea Soup - easy healthy recipes, tasty healthy recipes, delicious healthy recipes, vegetarian healthy recipes, quick and easy recipes for picky eaters #healthyfood #food

Posted In…

Appetizers ·

Appetizers are the perfect complement to my favorite entrees and dinner party menus. You can also make a small batch for a snack, or turn them into a complete meal.

32 responses to “Italian Chickpea Soup with Parmesan”

  1. For those of you who cook dried beans, 2.5 cups of dried beans appears to be about the right amount to yield 46.5 oz. of cooked chickpeas.

  2. The recipe sounds wonderful and I will definitely try. I have a question however. I haven’t used canned chickpeas or tomatoes before and would like to avoid them if I can. How different do you think it would be if I just soaked and pressure cooked the chickpeas and used fresh tomatoes? Do the canned ones have additional/different flavor?

    • Hi VJ! You can absolutely use non-canned chickpeas and tomatoes for this recipe. But for the tomatoes — they are canned in their juices, which adds a level of flavor/complexity to this soup. So if you are using fresh tomato, I’d recommend adding just a splash of whole tomato juice as well to the soup just to make sure you get all the tomato flavor into this dish. Hope that helps! Let me know how it turns out!

  3. This looks decadent and delicious! I always have a big bag of frozen chick pea’s that I had soaked earlier. This combined with my fresh garden tomato’s means I have no excuse to not try this soup! Will be on the menu this week for sure.

    • Woohoo! This is a great way to use up extra chickpeas for sure 🙂 Let me know how this recipe turns out Ken!

  4. This was the first recipe I tried from your blog, and it’s a winner. It’s one of those great soups that you can make anytime because you don’t have to have veggie stock on hand and the rest of the ingredients are staples, at least in my pantry.

  5. This soup looks delicious and I love that it incorporates one of my favorite fiber-licious foods – chickpeas! I’m always looking for creative ways to boost my daily fiber intake and I think this recipe fits that bill. I can’t wait to give it a try.

    • Let me know how you like it! Definitely agree – this soup is packed with fiber. If you’re looking for another fiber-packed dish – try this – it’s one of my favorite fiber-packed pastas! 🙂

      • Thanks for sharing another fiber-rich recipe with me – it looks delicious and colorful. I think even my kids would try the baked penne. I’ll let you know what everyone thinks of the soup once we give it a go. I’m hoping to add it to my meal plan this week.

      • no problem at all! would love to hear how the recipes go over with your family. and don’t hesitate to reach out if you need any more fiber-packed recipes – happy to help! 🙂

  6. When I saw this recipe I knew it would be what I would make for dinner tonight! It combines two of my favourite ‘flavours’…I guess you would say ‘flavours’ – Chickpeas and Tuscan. My Tuscan Artichokes are one of my favourite recipes on my blog.

  7. I thought I commented, but I can’t tell if it went through.. so I’ll try it again. 🙂

    Love this recipe- tried it yesterday and blogged about it! I hope you don’t mind, I tagged your blog and recipe.

  8. I saw this on foodbuzz the other day and made it last night! (With what I had on hand of course.. but still, delicious!) I’m blogging about it right now, and hope you don’t mind me linking to your blog, and recipe. 🙂

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