A warming chickpea soup made in the style of rustic Tuscan cuisine with added greens and fragrant rosemary in a flavoursome broth.
Chickpeas are perfect for easy lunch recipes. Try out my Chickpea Salad Sandwich for an easy and filling lunch idea!
Who doesn’t love a chickpea? It’s a go-to option for me when I want to add a bit of tasty substance to a salad, sandwich, soup, curry and so much more!
Chickpeas can be added to so many recipes because their taste is fairly subtle, allowing them to sit in the background without taking over a dish. But once in a while, we need to give humble chickpeas a bit of time in the limelight.
This soup lets them shine, using chickpeas to build a hearty soup with a pleasantly nutty flavour.
Although we talk about Italian food, in reality it is highly regional and far more diverse than pasta and pizza. Tuscan food is very much a thing of its own, and with flavours and styles that stand out from the pack.
The main idea behind cooking in Tuscany is the idea of ‘cucina povera‘ which literally means ‘poor cooking’. It’s the idea of simple, inexpensive food that can be made in quantity.
Although poverty is no longer a driving factor, the same attention to goodness in simplicity remains. Tuscan cuisine is not where you go for elaborate meals, but rather hearty fare made from local, nutritious ingredients.
Tuscan food is also not heavy on ornamentation or spices. This is food that is based on substance, not style.
It is also a region that loves soups, such as the famous Zuppa Toscana, and legumes. I’ve brought those two great loves together in this simple, hearty chickpea soup!
How to make chickpea soup
This soup starts with making soffritto, the classic base of many Italian dishes. Do this by cutting onions, carrots and celery into small pieces and sautéing it over low heat in olive oil. Give it time to cook so that they will truly soften to get the best flavour.
Now pour in the passata, vegetable stock and drained chickpeas and bring it to a boil. Once it has boiled, lower the heat and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes.
Then add the spinach and let it cook for a couple more minutes while adding salt and pepper to taste. An easy way to elevate this simple soup is to fry a couple sprigs of rosemary in olive oil, and then drizzle the oil over the soup. This will bring a luscious fragrance and taste!
Recipe tips and notes
- Make sure that the ingredients for soffritto are of similar size so that they all cook at the same speed. The carrots, celery and onion can be pulsed in a food processor to save work with a knife, but don’t overdo it or they will be too small. Use the photo above as a guide.
- To make a thicker version of this soup, run ⅓ of the soup through a blender or food processor before adding the spinach, and return it to the soup.
- Shaved or grated vegetarian parmesan cheese can be added to the soup before serving, although it would no longer be vegan.
More vegan recipes
- Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup
- Vegetarian Yaki Udon
- Vegan Dan Dan Noodles
- Chickpea and Butternut Squash Curry
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 celery rib
- 2 clove garlic
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary or ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- 125ml/1/2 cup tomato passata/crushed tomatoes
- 1 litre/4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 800g/28 oz canned chickpeas, drained
- 60g/2 cups spinach or kale (fresh or frozen)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Top with fried rosemary and flavoured oil (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a pot, then add the finely chopped onion, carrot and celery to the pot together with the chopped rosemary and sauté over low heat for 7-10 minutes, add minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds longer.
- Pour in the tomato passata, vegetable stock and the drained canned chickpeas, bring to a boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes. If you prefer thicker soups, process ⅓ of it in a blender, then return to the pot.
- Then add the spinach and cook for a couple of minutes longer, season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Fry a couple of rosemary sprigs in 3 tablespoon of olive oil, then drizzle the flavoured oil over the soup right before serving for extra flavour.
Serve this bread with a slice of crusty bread.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 280Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 917mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 12gSugar: 10gProtein: 13g