The best thing to do with two cans of chickpeas is to make this simple chickpea soup topped with garlic chips. Pantry stapes like olive oil, garlic and chicken broth make it so quick and easy, and a light smash of the beans with a potato masher makes the soup creamy. Add a dusting of Parmesan cheese and toasted baguette, and this simple budget-friendly meal is ready.
Sometimes, when I'm done clearing out the pantry and organizing everything, I find two lone cans of chickpeas in the back of the shelf. Often, they're not even the same brand, but they exist there because I throw a can or two in my grocery cart nearly every single shopping trip.
While we can always make my easy hummus recipe, if I find my pantry contains a head of garlic, I make this warm chickpea soup. If I don't have garlic, I will make my hummus without garlic while I add garlic to the my grocery list on my phone.
I love that this soup comes together without using onion, because I frequently finish the bag of onions in my pantry without remembering to buy more. Not many soup recipes lack onion, though if you have some, my chickpea noodle soup is delicious.
How to Make Chickpea Soup
This recipe is super simple, and comes together in just one pot in minutes. While the garlic chips on top seem super fancy, they are so simple! Instead of chopping or mincing your garlic cloves, slice it into thin chips, and fry gently in the pot. You will remove them before adding all other ingredients, right when they're golden brown and crispy. After the soup is done, sprinkle them back on top before serving.
If you have a Parmesan cheese rind, it's great to drop in the soup while it cooks for extra flavoring, too! When I finish a chunk of Parmesan, I wrap up the rind and store it in the freezer for cozy soups like this!
- Olive Oil. Since we're cooking this soup, it's not essential to use extra virgin olive oil. And also, any cooking oil or even butter will work here.
- Garlic. We need 5 cloves of garlic, which seems like a lot for soup, but I promise it's delicious here.
- Chicken Broth. If you want to keep this vegetarian or vegan, you can swap in vegetable broth for the 5 cups of chicken broth, but please be sure to use a great tasting vegetable broth. This soup has such few ingredients that each flavor really shines, so make sure to use a rich stock.
- Chickpeas. Two 15-ounce cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained. You can use one 28-ounce can if you have that instead.
- Parmesan Cheese. I recommend one tablespoon of freshly grated Parmesan cheese in each bowl of chickpea soup, just before serving, but it's nice to have extra for the table. If you have a rind of Parmesan, toss it in the pot while the soup cooks.
- For serving: slices of baguette, toasted and extra Parmesan cheese. Fresh parsley is nice, if you have it, but not essential. A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil is great on top just before serving, too.
In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the thinly sliced garlic cloves, and cook while stirring continuously. As soon as the edges of the garlic start to turn golden brown, remove them from the heat and place them on a paper towel. Leave the garlic flavored oil in the pan and continue making the rest of the soup.
Next, to the pan that you removed all of the garlic chips from, add the chicken broth, chickpeas, salt and pepper. Bring this mixture to a simmer, and then use a potato masher to crush about half of the beans. This thickens the broth. Taste and adjust for more salt and pepper, ladle into bowls and serve with Parmesan cheese on top.
FAQ: Simple Chickpea Soup
Chickpeas are very hardy beans, and so they can withstand long cooking times. For this recipe here, the chickpeas are added at the beginning and gently simmered before being smashed a bit. This is also the case for my crockpot Vegetable Bean Soup--they are added in the beginning and simmer all day.
I almost always recommend draining the liquid from the can when adding beans to soup, because it is often a salty brine. It is almost always best to drain and rinse canned beans. This helps control the level of salt in the recipe. The only time I don't recommend draining beans before using is in my Black Bean Soup.
I frequently serve chickpea soup with slices of baguette that are warm or toasted. This soup is also great with a cold slaw or salad, like my Mediterranean Chickpea Salad or my White Bean Tuna Salad. Any salad with a tangy vinaigrette would be great here.
Yes, this recipe is full of plant-based protein. Even though the soup is creamy, it does not contain cream. Mashing the garbanzo beans in the pot releases starch and helps thicken the soup without cream or flour. Check the bottom of the recipe card for full nutrition facts and values.
Leftovers and Storage:
If you have leftover soup, store it in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stove until warm before serving. If you would like to freeze it, portion the soup into freezer-safe containers, and freeze flat for up to 3 months. To defrost, place in the fridge overnight and reheat over low heat in a soup pot until hot.
Canned chickpeas soup using just olive oil, garlic, broth and Parmesan cheese.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 5 cups chicken broth*
- 2 15-ounce cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- In a large soup bowl, heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the sliced garlic cloves, and cook while stirring continuously. Keep an eye on the garlic cloves, and remove them from the oil as soon as the edges start to turn golden brown. Place the garlic chips on a paper towel to cool while you make the rest of the soup. Leave the garlic-flavored oil in the soup pot.
- To the oil, add the chicken broth, chickpeas, salt and pepper.
- Bring this mixture to a simmer. Use a potato masher to mash about half of the chickpeas into the soup, creating a cloudy and thick broth. Taste the soup for salt and pepper, and add more if needed.
- Ladle into 4 bowls, and top each bowl with 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese. Garnish with toasted baguette slices, garlic chips and serve.
*If you want to keep this vegetarian or vegan, you can swap in vegetable broth. Be sure to use a great tasting vegetable broth. This soup has such few ingredients that each flavor really shines, so make sure to use a rich stock. If vegan, omit Parmesan cheese, or use a vegan Parmesan cheese substitute.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 458Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 2427mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 16gSugar: 12gProtein: 23g
The 'bean water' in a can of chickpeas can be used as an egg substitute in baking. Three tablespoons of aquafaba (it even has a name!) equals one egg. I have used it in cakes, even a wedding cake, which everyone enjoyed. If you have high cholesterol or vegans in the family, it is worth switching to this for baking. Other bean water can be used but chickpeas have the best color and mildest flavor.