Sunday, January 08, 2012

Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Soup Recipe with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Basil

This Chickpea Soup with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Basil is a meatless Phase One recipe.

I'm featuring a Month of Daily Phase One recipes during January, and since it's Sunday night, I'm sharing this favorite meatless chickpea soup, perfect for Phase One, or for anyone who's looking for ideas for Meatless Monday tomorrow.  This is one of the soups I made during the holidays for my annual soup party, only when it came time to stir in the basil I found I didn't have any of that wonderful frozen basil that usually lasts me through the winter.  What I did have in my freezer was plenty of basil pesto, so I just stirred some of that into the soup instead.   It was such a hit that I'm going to add that option to the recipe along with the new photo you see above.  I know phase one main dishes can be challenging for vegetarians, but this soup is a meatless recipe that won't leave you feeling deprived!

(You can find more meatless recipes by using the label Meatless Monday or checking Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index.  For Meatless Monday ideas from other bloggers, check Meatless Monday at BlogHer, where I write a weekly post spotlighting one of the fabulous meatless recipe ideas I find around the web.)

Chickpea Soup
This was one recipe where I didn't mind the original photo, from February 2008.

After I made the crispy roasted chickpeas, I got a bit fixated on those little round orbs of flavor and ended up making several chickpea recipes in a row. This was one of them, and before I give you the recipe I'm going to make a confession: this is the first time I've soaked dried chickpeas and cooked them. Not that there's anything shameful about using canned chickpeas, but WOW did the freshly cooked chickpeas taste wonderful in this soup. Even better, the liquid the chickpeas were cooked in became the base of the soup, which made it extra flavorful.  You can also definitely make this soup with canned chickpeas (and you don't even have to confess to anyone who eats it) but I'll be cooking my own from now on when I'm using them for soup.


Chickpea Soup with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Basil
(Makes about 6 servings, recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from this Vegetarian Lentil Soup from The Sugar Solution Cookbook.

Ingredients:
1 cup dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans), soaked at least 8 hours or overnight in cold water
6 cups homemade chicken stock or 4 cans chicken broth (you could make this a vegetarian soup by using vegetable broth)
1 yellow onion, diced
6-8 cloves garlic, diced very small
1 T olive oil (or less, depending on your pan)
1 can diced tomatoes with juice, 14.5 oz size (I like Muir Glen Organic Tomatoes)
3-4 cups chopped baby spinach (measure before chopping)
2-4 T chopped fresh basil (I used my frozen basil, can also use  basil pesto if you don't have any basil)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:
Soak chickpeas overnight or for at least 8 hours in cold water. Drain chickpeas and discard water, and pick out any loose skins that have come off.

Put chickpeas in heavy soup pot with chicken stock, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until chickpeas are tender. This will depend on how fresh the dried chickpeas were, but for me it took about an hour. Use a spoon or stock skimmer to remove any foam that appears.

When chickpeas are tender, heat olive oil in heavy frying pan, then saute onions about 5 minutes, until fairly soft. Add garlic and cook 2-3 minutes more. Add onions and garlic to soup pot with diced tomatoes. Let soup simmer on low heat about 30 minutes.

Add chopped spinach to soup (adding a bit more water or chicken stock if needed) and simmer 15-30 minutes more. I used my beloved Braun Immersion Blender at this point to slightly break up the ingredients. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can put about 1/3 of the soup into a food processor or blender and pulse a few times. You can skip this step completely too, if you'd like a chunkier soup.

Stir in chopped basil and cook 5 minutes. Season soup with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste and serve hot. This is wonderful topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. (If you have some Parmesan rinds, throw them into the soup while it's cooking for even more flavor.)

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South Beach Suggestions:
Soup like this is a perfect main dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet. Garbanzo beans are considered a "good carb" on South Beach and are approved for any phase of the diet, although they are limited to 1/3 to 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas.  In a soup like this with lots of other ingredients besides the chickpeas, you have have a good-sized serving of soup without going over that limit.

More Soups with Chickpeas:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly, check ingredients.)
Chicken Soup with Garbanzos and Oregano
Roasted Tomato Soup with Ground Beef, Sausage, Garbanzos, Macaroni, and Basil
Garbanzo and White Bean Soup with Lamb and Rosemary
Garbanzo Bean Soup with Israeli Cous Cous from Gourmet Girl
Garbanzo Bean Soup with Saffron from Superspark
Spicy Bean Soup from Fingerlicking Food
North African Chickpea and Kale Soup from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Chorizo and Chickpea Soup from Morsels and Musings
Swiss Chard, Beef, and Chickpea Soup from Daily Unadventures in Cooking
Chickpea Hot Pot from 101 Cookbooks

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67 comments:

Anonymous said...

This looks wonderful! I just love your website. Thanks so much for your creativity and your sharing with us!

glutenfreeforgood said...

This looks amazing and I even have some fresh basil, fresh spinach, and the last bag of frozen tomatoes in the freezer from the garden last fall. No dried chickpeas on hand, but I have some canned, so I may just try this! The dried chickpeas do sound better, but I'll save that for next time.
Melissa

Peter M said...

Chick peas have really grown on me, especially in soups.

This one would be just fine with a grilled cheese sammie.

Karen said...

That looks really good. I've never tried dried chickpeas. Sounds like they do nicely in this soup.

fairfieldfirstgrader said...

Kalyn, I am a first grade teacher who just had a kidney transplant last June. I lost a good deal of weight before the surgery, but recently began the South Beach diet in order to continue losing. I found your site by accident while recipe hunting. Now you are at the top of my favorites list! I think of you each morning, when I run to my car with an egg muffin in my hand! Thanks!

Kalyn said...

I love my commenters, even if I'm not always that good at responding! I'm so happy to see that people like the sound of this. Plus, now I know I'm not the only one who hadn't tried dried chickpeas (thanks Karen.) And Fairfieldfirstgrader, that comment made my day. (I was a first grade teacher for six years. What a tough job!)

Annemarie said...

I've never gotten a good result from my dried chickpeas, but legions of people wouldn't keep using them if they were inferior. Thanks for giving me the courage to buy another bag and try again, Kalyn. :)

Gretchen Noelle said...

Wait a minute here! You are a card carrying member of the garbanzo bean fan club...and this is the *first* time you've soaked them. I am not sure about this club! Ha!

Glad you like the difference! This soup sounds great!

From another club card member.

Kalyn said...

Anne Marie, keep trying them. Maybe you had old chickpeas.

Gretchen, good point! Gee, I hope they don't revoke my membership. I promise to soak and cook from now on!

Chris said...

Another wonderful recipe. I love Chick peas!

Nau-Dee said...

I have found that I really enjoy chickpeas and this soup looks and sounds wonderful!!

charcuterista said...

Thanks for admitting! I haven't ever made chickpeas "from scratch" either, partly because I have problems planning so far ahead, but partly because I wasn't sure I would be able to tell the difference. I appreciate the heads up...

Allen said...

You've inspired me to pick up some dried chickpeas to give this soup a try -- thanks, as always!

Meeta said...

I love chickpeas too. They are great and versatile with so many different spices and veggies. The soups sounds delish. I used chickpeas this weekend with other legumes and combined it with kale. That was a great food experience.

sher said...

I use canned chickpeas quite a bit, but the dried ones are just fabulous! I adore chickpeas, and the soup looks perfect.

Y said...

Great looking soup! I confess I'm usually a bit lazy when it comes to using dried chickpeas even though I know they're far better than using tinned stuff.

What with this whole chickpea craze you're experiencing right now, Kalyn, you must be extra protein packed! :-D

arundati said...

looks wholesome and comforting!!

Jennifer said...

Looks absolutely scrumptious. We make a soup just like this all the time and everyone loves it.

In case it would be helpful for anyone ...
For those who are struggling with cooking chick peas, my most recent post is about hummus and in it I include instructions about how to cook those buggers in a slow cooker. This method is so easy and makes the chick peas so tender, you may never open a can again.

Thanks for the yummy recipe Kalyn!

Moon said...

I've just started adding garbanzos to soup and they add such a great new texture. This sounds like a great combo.

Patricia Scarpin said...

I have been seeing so many delicious soup recipes around the blogs, Kalyn... I'll be trying them all in the winter! Yours included. :)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I'm not a huge chickpea fan, but I can see making this with lentils or even with white cannellini beans. I'm trying to eat soup every day this winter!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Your soup looks so good! I love ceci's every which way, and those spiced up ones I have to try!

The Culinary Chase said...

Hi Kalyn! This soup looks sooo good & healthy! I love chickpeas & now this recipe is added to my collection.
Cheers,
Heather

Glenna said...

Oh I hear you about the weather! We left freezing rain and plain out ice for Vegas and I'm really okay with clear skies and 70 degrees for the week! Being out here is making me anxious for good weather at home so I can plan my container garden!

Eric said...

Hi Kalyn, it's my first visit here, and I'm liking what I see very much! I love chickpeas, especially cooked in the pressure cooker.

Can't wait to delve further into your blog -- thanks!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

If I didn't already have two big jars of soup in my fridge for the rest of the week by myself, I'd be making this one. Maybe I can do this one for the night Gorn gets home.
It's so easy to get caught up with Garbanzo's!

Meg said...

Hi Kalyn -- This recipe is very similar to one that I concocted years ago, and it's a family favorite. Mine includes cauliflower (chopped and sauteed with the onions) and 1/2 cup of barley. Mmmmm, think I'll go make some now!

katiez said...

I love this! Bean soup of any kind is a favorite... But next time I'll start with dried chickpeas...

~M said...

This looks fabulous...but basil is so hard to find in the winter; what are your thoughts on substituting cilantro? Thanks, Kalyn, and Happy New Year!

Kalyn said...

I can see that I need a New Year's resolution to get better at responding to comments! M- I can't think of any reason why this wouldn't taste good with cilantro but it would be quite different I think. Let me know if you try it. If you have access to basil during the summer, I highly recommend freezing basil so you will have it for soups like this in the winter.

ValerieAnne said...

I made this with onion, garlic, 1 can of garbanzos, 1 can of diced tomatoes, 10 frozen spinach pkg, ~ 3 cups homemade chicken stock and 2 Tb commercially prepared pesto. I used the immersion blender and pureed most of it.
It was OK. It's probably a great way to eat more veggies :).

Anonymous said...

Question about the soup. It looks so lovely and sounds so tasty, but do you think it would taste nice without the tomatoes? Although I love them, they are just too acidic for my delicate tumtum. Would you think it would be good without? I love the garbanzos, spinach and everything else in there. Would you add a diff ingredient if ditching the tomato? Thanks for any ideas!

Kalyn said...

I'm guessing would taste great without the tomatoes. Try it and let me know how it turns out. Maybe add a T of so of tomato sauce if that doesn't bother you.

Kalyn said...

Kimberly, I think there would be quite a difference with the dried basil, but it still would probably be quite good, just not quite the same. If you're using dried basil, I'd add it much earlier, probably about the same time you add the onions and garlic. I'd use about 2 tsp. dried basil.

Love to hear how it turns out!

Anonymous said...

Looks great, definitely going to try it!

Something my mom taught me: you can cook your dried beans all at once, then measure them out into can-sized portions and freeze them for later use. Very convenient.

I cook mine in my pasta pot. The strainer keeps the beans off the bottom so they don't burn. Super easy, an no stirring!

melodygreen said...

Just tried this and it was great! :) It was my first time using dried chickpeas too (or having chickpeas at all except for in hummus). The only change I made was using dried basil since I didn't have fresh. Thanks so much!

Kalyn said...

Melody, glad you liked it, especially the chickpeas. (I'm nuts over chickpeas!)

Anonymous said...

This is the FIRST time I have posted about a recipe and I'm doing this because this soup [chickpea, spinach, tomatoes and fresh basil] was wonderful and I really mean it. Made it last week and again this week. Week one I used organic chicken broth and week two I used organic veggie broth. I prefer the chicken broth but both were delicious. I have an herb garden and fresh basil was great in this. BTW, a coworker suggested I obtain a pressure cooker and think I will. My Braun hand mixer came in handy..

Kalyn said...

So glad you enjoyed it! I do love this recipe too (and need to make it again so I can take a new photo!)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I agree that the difference between fresh (dried) and canned chickpeas is a surprise, yet the convenience of canned chickpeas cannot be beat. Love seeing the new and old photos -- your new photos make this soup look so appetizing!

Kalyn said...

Thanks Lydia! Looking back on it, I'm so glad I decided to keep the original photos for comparison.

Angie (Losing It and Loving It) said...

Oh my, this looks and sounds awesome! Pinned it and will check it out soon.

Pat Machin said...

As a chickpea-a-holic, I do prefer using the dry beans. The taste is definitely better and they are work out so much cheaper that there's really no competition.

Thanks for the recipe, Kalyn. I do love learning new tricks and putting Parmesan rind in while the soup cooks had never occurred to me.

Joanne said...

Soup is currently my favorite thing to eat when I need somethign uber healthy and filling and this definitely fits those criteria! Plus it sounds delicious!

Jeanette said...

What a nice hearty looking meatless soup - love the updated photo and the addition of pesto. I love stir-ins in my soup and pesto is one of my favorites, adds a punch of color and flavor.

Laura said...

This warming soup looks like a perfect dinner for tonight. I love how many vegetables are in it too!

Kalyn said...

Angie, hope you enjoy.

Pat I think I learned that from reading Lynn Rosetto Kasper, but can't remember for sure.

Joanne, I am a soup-a-holic this time of year!

Jeanette, I am with you on the pesto!

Laura, thanks and glad you like it.

Maria said...

I love all of the flavors in this soup. I am in love with chickpeas too!

Miri Leigh said...

This soup looks warming and delicious! Thanks for posting!

Cookin' Canuck said...

Let me tell everyone that I tasted this soup straight from Kalyn's soup pot and it is absolutely fantastic! My husband and I both went back for several servings.

Kalyn said...

Maria, aren't they good, and so versatile!

Miri, thanks. Hope you will try it.

Thanks Dara, that's a great endorsement coming from you!

kira said...

I was wondering how this recipe can be adapted for the slow cooker. Seems like it would work.

Kalyn said...

Kira, there are so many ingredients with different cooking times that I'm not sure how adaptable it would be. If I was trying it I would probably still cook the beans in the stock on the stove (so the liquid would cook down and condense the flavors.) Then I'd put the cooked beans, stock, onions, garlic and tomatoes, in the slow cooker and cook for a few hours before adding the spinach and basil.

If you try it, let us know what you did and how it turns out!

Annette said...

I am really glad I found your site. Everything looks and sounds delicious!

Pegreads said...

Hi, I'm new to your site but like it so far having saved a few recipes to try. I'm not familiar with South Beach phases so maybe this suggestion goes against it. I'm making a version of this right now, but I've taken out and added in so much it's not really the same recipe anymore.

I just wanted to say that instead of the boxed or canned stock what I've used is Sunday's water from braising the chuck roast which had carrots and onions in it so it came out rather beefy tasting. The roast was low on excess fat this week but I put it in a ziploc then a bowl in the fridge and let it sit to congeal and then clipped the corner of the bottom of the bag when I was ready so what little of the fat was left stayed basically on the sides of the bag before it went out. I drained it through a paper towel and strainer into a bowl. Handy part was I still had about 2" pieces of carrots in it and one worked as a cork for the cut corner so I could stop and start the flow easily. Serendipty at its best.

kellypea @ sass & veracity said...

I have some of the last tomatoes from my "crop" frozen and waiting for something like this. Sounds wonderful with the chickpeas.

CherylK said...

The ultimate comfort food...I could eat soup every day. I'm making a huge batch of this, this week!

katiez said...

I've made a similar soup using dried white kidney beans - next time I'll use chickpeas. With a pressure cooker all those dried beans are easy!

Sweet Side said...

Hello there! Just wanted to say that I came across this recipe via pintrest today and thought I would make it for my family tonight. It was an absolute huge hit!!! I gave the recipe to my mother and will definitely be making this again. The fresh basil makes this dish.

avocadopesto said...

I've never had chickpea soup before but this sounds delicious!

BN said...

I've got a cold and it's snowing outside, so I needed soup. I subbed zucchini for the celery, used canned chickpeas, threw in a chopped carrot and went with the pesto since I didn't have enough fresh basil (genius trick I never thought of before!). Yummy, satisfying cold day soup! Thanks!

Kalyn said...

BN, sounds good to me; hope it will help the cold!

Donalyn said...

So often when I see a really good recipe on Pinterest, I end up here - love this one!

Kalyn said...

Donalyn, you are so sweet! This soup is one of my all-time favorites!

Marilu said...

how many calories in this soup?

WorkItMama said...

What do you think about cooking this in a crockpot?

Kalyn Denny said...

I don't count calories, so I don't have that information, but if you look under FAQ at the top, there is a link for Calorie Count where you can enter the recipe and it will calculate it for you.

With pre-soaked beans you could probably make this in a crockpot. I would cook the chickpeas first without the other ingredients (similar to how I did it on the stove.) The amount of liquid needed would be less, but as I haven't tried it, I'm not sure exactly how much less.

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