This delicious Greek chickpea soup is so easy to make. It is creamy, lemony, and the perfect comfort soup with few ingredients.
Why this recipe sings
A Greek chickpea soup is on the list of unpretentious, simple foods that are delicious with a distinctive flavor. It has a rich, creamy broth and the addition of lemon juice adds brightness and sophistication.
In this chickpea soup recipe, you can tune up or down how much lemon you want to use. For example, my mother used one lemon; I felt I needed more acidity and added three lemons juiced. Admittedly the lemons I find in Hoboken might be different in potency than the greek lemons my mother used. My suggestion is to experiment and discover what you prefer.
This delicious soup is simple to make as long as you soak the chickpeas overnight and pre-cook them to help soften their texture.
Here is what you need
- Dried chickpeas. The chickpeas will need to soak in plenty of fresh water with salt for 24 hours. You could use canned chickpeas although the sauce will not thicken the same way and the broth will not be as rich in flavor. If you deside to use them, cook the soup in vegetable or chicken stock to add flavor.
- Red onion. White onions are also fine.
- Extra virgin olive live oil.
- Bay leaves, dried oregano, sea salt and freshly ground pepper*.
- All purpose flour. To thicken the broth.
- Lemons. It adds a bright freshness.
*This recipe is versatile. You can be creative and add some dried or fresh thyme, a teaspoon of ground cumin, and coriander, and serve topped with chili flakes, chopped dill, or chives.
How to make this soup
- Soak the chickpeas in plenty of water and a couple of tablespoons of coarse salt night.
- If you can’t soak the chickpeas for 24 hours, put them in a bowl, cover them with water and pour in two three tablespoons of coarse salt or a teaspoon of baking soda. Leave them for at least 8 hours until they rise and double in volume.
Put chickpeas into a large stockpot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Drain and add them back to the pot. Repeat the same process 2-3 times until they are half cooked. About 20 min each time. Drain chickpeas well and set them aside.
For a gluten-free soup. Instead of using flour, you can transfer one ladle of chickpeas and a ladle of broth to a blender and pulse until smooth—return the liquid to the stockpot and stir. Add lemon juice, and season with sea salt and pepper.
Serve hot with more lemon wedges, feta cheese, olives, and lots of crusty bread.
Ideas for chickpea soup leftovers
I love food that makes a great leftover. After a day, you can add a cup of rice to the soup, some broth, a teaspoon of ground coriander, a teaspoon of ground cumin, a pinch of chili flakes, and some chopped fresh dill, and create a lovely rice dish.
Add leftover grilled vegetables, toasted pine nuts, and a sprinkle of feta cheese, and you have a delicious salad. Or, make aromatic chickpea fritters and serve with a tahini lemon yogurt sauce.
Greek Lemon chickpea soup
- 1 lb chickpeas garbanzo beans
- 1 red onion diced
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp dry oregano
- fresh ground pepper
for finishing the soup
- juice from 1- 2 lemons
- 1 cup soup broth
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- Soak the chickpeas in plenty of water overnight.
- Put them in a large pot cover with water and bring them to a boil. Drain and add them back to the pot. Repeat the same process 2-3 times until they are half cooked. About 20 min each time. Drain chickpeas well and set aside.
- In the same pot, in medium heat, add the olive oil and the the onion.
- Sauté onion until it’s transparent and fragrant. Add the chickpeas, oregano and the bay leaves.
- Sauté everything for a 2-3 minutes then add water to cover chickpeas plus 2 inches.
- Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cook for about an hour or more if needed until they are tender. Shortly before chickpeas are cooked season with salt and pepper.
- In a bowl add the lemon juice and stir in the flour with a whisk.
- Slowly start adding a little of the soup broth. Keep stirring vigorously. Pour into the soup and mix well.
- Serve hot with smoked herring and onion slices. Don’t forget the crusty bread.