Thursday, December 04, 2008

Recipe for Revithia - Greek Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Soup with Lemon and Olive Oil

Revithia - Greek Chickpea SoupSometimes the simplest of ingredients can produce a dish that's full of interesting flavor, and that was certainly true with this Greek soup made of dried chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans.) The soup would have been a perfect candidate for my new pressure cooker, but I made it before I got the pressure cooker, so I enjoyed the smell of this cooking for several hours. I'm not sure how authentic my take on this is because I combined several recipes to come up with a version that appealed to me, but I loved the flavor of this creamy chickpea soup brightened up with lemon and drizzled with a bit of olive oil.

Greek Chickpea Soup with Lemon and Olive Oil (Revithia)

(Makes about 4 servings, recipe adapted by Kalyn, check after the recipe for soups that inspired my version.)

1 cup dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans) soaked 12-18 hours
1 onion, chopped into pieces about 1/4 inch
1 T + 3 T olive oil (preferably Greek olive oil for this dish)
1 tsp. dried Greek oregano
1 tsp. dried parsley
8 cups water
1 tsp. salt, or a bit more (I used Vege-sal)
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (more or less to taste; I like a lot of lemon flavor)

Pick over dried chickpeas and remove any stones or debris, then put beans in pan and cover with cold water and let soak 12-18 hours. (If you start soaking the beans when you go to bed and then make this soup mid afternoon for the next night's dinner, that's an easy way to manage the long soaking time.) When ready to make soup, drain beans and discard soaking water.

Heat olive oil in the bottom of a heavy dutch oven or soup pot, then add onion and saute for about 5 minutes, until onion is softened but not browned. Add Greek Oregano, parsley, and water, bring to a simmer, then lower heat and simmer gently with the pan covered until beans are very soft. The time this takes will depend on how fresh your beans are, but plan on about 2-3 hours.

When beans are soft, use a blender or immersion blender to puree the mixture until all ingredients are completely blended. (I love my immersion blender, and highly recommend it for pureeing hot liquids like this. If you use a regular blender, be very careful not to fill it too full so the hot liquid doesn't burn you.)

After soup is pureed, add salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Then stir in lemon juice and 2 T of the olive oil. Serve hot, with a bit more olive oil drizzled on the top of each serving.

Printer Friendly Recipe

Of course my appreciation for chickpeas is well-documented, but this was a new way to cook them for me, and since this week's host for Weekend Herb Blogging is Ivy from Kopiaste, I hope she'll like my attempt at a classic Greek soup. If you'd like to participate, check who's hosting and how to enter at Haalo's fabulous blog, where she's carrying on WHB in grand style.

South Beach Suggestions:
Many people don't realize that beans like this are a very low-glycemic food, which makes this soup for any phase of the South Beach Diet. For phase one, serve with something like Arugula Salad with Feta and Fresh Tomato-Balsamic Vinaigrette. For phase 2 or 3, you could add some toast made with South Beach Diet friendly bread.

More Soups with Chickpeas, including the Inspiring Versions of Revithia
Lemony Chickpea and Rosemary Soup (Revithia) from Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska
Greek Garbanzo Bean Soup (Revithia) from Mama's Taverna

Chickpea (garbanzo bean) Soup with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Basil from Kalyn's Kitchen
Sausage and Red Russian Kale Soup with Tomatoes, Chickpeas, and Herbs from Kalyn's Kitchen
Find more recipes for Garbanzo Bean Soup using Food Blog Search.
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More to Chew On:


  1. Kalyn, the soup gets 5*****
    I think it is perfect, you have all the ingredients for a perfect Greek soup. Thanks very much Kalyn for creating this lovely event and giving us a chance to host it.

  2. Ivy, thanks! I hoped I was keeping it authentic even though I combined ideas from a couple of recipes. The soup was so delicious!

  3. Aren't chick peas in a soup wonderful? I tried this soup on the Greek island of Sifnos this past summer. Sifnos is home to Revithosoupa and it's a delight being simmered all night in the town bakeries.

  4. Oh, this sounds wonderful. I've been using Alanna's method of cooking beans in the slow cooker. I did chickpeas that way and they turned out very well with no presoaking. Start beans after breakfast and they're ready for lunch.

    I'm doing cannelini beans that way today for a soup with butternut squash, diced tomatoes and spinach. Can't wait for lunch!

  5. Gorgeous soup!! I love the drizzle on top!!

  6. How perfect to post a recipe with a Greek theme when the host this week is from Athens. I absolutley couldn't live without my immersion blender either!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. This soup looks wonderful - great photo. I toss garbanzos into soups a lot, but I have yet to make them the actual star of the soup. Silly me, I can tell I'm missing out - especially since I think you may be the only person who might actually be a bigger fan of garbanzo beans than I am. Of course I'm a lot less inventive with them than you are - half the time I eat them straight from the can. Okay, most of the time I do rinse them first. ; )

  8. Very nice, Kalyn. A perfectly-timed suggestion for the dried chickpeas I have in my pantry.

  9. This sounds delicious, almost like a liquid hummus.

  10. I'm glad people are liking the sound of this. Yes, it is a bit like liquid hummus I guess. No garlic, which might even be a good addition. The lemon juice and olive oil are essential (tip from the inspiring recipes.)

    I hear I'm not the only one doing a Greek-themed recipe for this week too, which is fun!

  11. when I worked in an Italian restaurant in the Bay Area our chickpea soup was the simplest on the menu & also the best - it is just something about the creamy consistency.
    I love your olive oil garnish - looks fantastic!

  12. Kalyn, this sounds delicious. I am always on the lookout for delicious soups that are not cream-based (I'm a non-dairy sort). This looks absolutely delightful.

  13. Chick peas and olive oil always reminds me of Tuscany and the rolling hills of poplar trees, even when I see a tin of chick peas in the cupboard! I will busying myself in the kitchen with this on Saturday.
    thanks ;0)

  14. I have really been working on learning to love chickpeas. The wonderful Spanish paprika-tossed chickpeas tapa that we enjoyed in Boston has really made me think again about incorporating more chickpeas into my cooking.

  15. Lovely soup - I love those flavors and the name sounds so musical! I think I would like this just roughly mashed.

  16. I'm going to have to give this one a try...possibly as soon as sometime this weekend. Yum!

  17. I have a chickpea obsession, so this sounds wonderful. They have a great chickpea soup at the New England Soup Factory...I crave it all the time!


  18. Kalyn, you are so creative! You have a real knack for finding interesting recipes and flavors that I, in all my hours trolling cookbooks, have never come across! My hubby and I are total chickpea hogs, so this looks like a wonderful way to warm up on a chilly day with something super tasty. Thanks!

  19. Wow, I feel healthier just looking at the picture. Imagine how my body would feel better by cooking and eating it! Great job.

  20. How long would I cook it in my pressure cooker?

  21. Thanks everyone for the nice comments about the soup! I love Greek food of any type.

    ValerieAnne, I'm not experienced enough with the pressure cooker to know for sure, but I'd guess since you're going to puree the beans you might cook them as long as 30 minutes in the pressure cooker. You would also use less water, since a lot of water evaporated in the long cooking time. Let me know if you experiment with it, love to hear how it goes.

  22. And wouldn't that be grand with a Tagine using some preserved lemons! This looks really wonderful Kalyn!

  23. This sounds great, Kalyn! I adore chickpeas and can't wait to try it. Is there a reason you're using water instead of chicken or veg stock? Did you try it and it didn't work well for you?

  24. Caron, only reason I used water is because that's what the "true" Greek cooks had used. I do think stock would be good too.

  25. ok -- now I want an immersion blender.... ;0) husband has been asking for ideas for Christmas ...

    I want to try this recipe...but don't think I want to try soup in the blender with all my little ankle biters ... I'll have to keep it in mind for later...looks yummy

  26. I love the sound and look of your soup.


  27. I love chickpeas and have always wanted to try a chickpea soup. This one sounds perfect. I may have to try it in the pressure cooker.

  28. I am SO making this!! I have a jar of locally grown, dried chickpeas in the cupboard and I love to cook soup on the weekends. This is going on the menu. THANKS!

  29. Oh YUM!!! I love chickpeas in all their forms so I'm definitely bookmarkiijng this. Thanks Kalyn :)

  30. I really like the sound of this chickpea soup!

  31. I'm so glad I found this site. I have been on the South Beach diet a week today and was running out of things I wanted to eat.
    This is a great site thank you so much.

    Margaret Australia

  32. your wonderful recipes.Plus you never cease to amaze me with your lovely posts, gentle words..I have not been able to post this week.I made a lovely soup but i did not have time to photograph before my friends arrived for our had lentils and chesnuts. i will make it again and post for next week.

  33. Valentina, you are so sweet! Thanks everyone for the nice comments. My e-mail is still acting up. so I'm not getting the notifications and doing a bad job of responding, but I do appreciate everyone who comments!

  34. I made this soup last night, and was a little disappointed in the flavor until i stirred in a little feta after serving the soup, that really punched it up. Also noticed that the soup seems to want to separate, did you find this when you made it Kalyn?

  35. Hmm, feta does sound good in this. When I made it, I didn't think it was good at all until I added the olive oil and lemon juice.

    Don't remember it separating, but I made it more than a month ago. Thanks for the feedback.

  36. my son is recovering from pneumonia so I battled cabin fever yesterday and made this husband's exact quote: "she didn't disapoint can make that anytime you want".

    we certainly enjoyed it


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