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

This Chickpea Soup with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Basil is a delicious meatless soup, and this recipe is also low-glycemic, gluten-free, and South Beach Diet friendly. Use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.

Click here to PIN Chickpea Soup with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Basil!

Chickpea Soup with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Basil found on KalynsKitchen.com

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

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 found on KalynsKitchen.com

More Soups with Chickpeas:

Chicken Soup with Garbanzos and Oregano ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
African Curried Coconut Soup with Chickpeas ~ Eats Well with Others
Garbanzo Bean Soup with Garlic, Sumac, Olive Oil, and Lemon ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Red Lentil, Chili, and Chickpea Stew ~ Running with Tweezers
Italian Sausage Soup with Green Peppers, Chickpeas, and Pesto ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

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

This Chickpea Soup with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Basil is a delicious meatless soup to enjoy for lunch or dinner.


  • 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


  1. Soak chickpeas overnight or for at least 8 hours in cold water.
  2. Drain chickpeas and discard water, and pick out any loose skins that have come off.
  3. Put chickpeas in heavy soup pot with homemade 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.
  4. Use a spoon or stock skimmer to remove any foam that appears.
  5. When chickpeas are tender, heat olive oil in heavy frying pan, then saute onions about 5 minutes, until fairly soft.
  6. Add garlic and cook 2-3 minutes more.
  7. Add onions and garlic to soup pot with diced tomatoes (I like Muir Glen Organic Tomatoes).
  8. Let soup simmer on low heat about 30 minutes.
  9. Add chopped spinach to soup (adding a bit more water or chicken stock if needed) and simmer 15-30 minutes more.
  10. 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.
  11. Stir in chopped basil (I used my frozen basil, can also use  basil pesto if you don’t have any basil) and cook 5 minutes.
  12. 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.)

Recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from this Vegetarian Lentil Soup from The Sugar Solution Cookbook.

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / /Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Chickpea Soup with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Basil is too high in carbs for low-carb diet plans, but you can make it lower in carbs by using less chickpeas and more of the other ingredients, especially spinach. Soup like this is a perfect main dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into this nutrition analyzer, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

Chickpea Soup with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Basil found on KalynsKitchen.com

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70 comments on “Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Soup with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Basil”

  1. 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.

  2. This soup looks warming and delicious! Thanks for posting!

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

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

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

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

  11. 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!

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

  13. 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..

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

  15. 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!

  16. 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!

  17. 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!

  18. 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.

  19. 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!

  20. 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 :).

  21. 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.

  22. 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!

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

  24. 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!

  25. 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!

  26. 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!

  27. 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!

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

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

  30. 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!

  31. I have been seeing so many delicious soup recipes around the blogs, Kalyn… I’ll be trying them all in the winter! Yours included. 🙂

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

  33. 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!

  34. looks wholesome and comforting!!

  35. 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! 😀

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

  37. 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.

  38. You’ve inspired me to pick up some dried chickpeas to give this soup a try — thanks, as always!

  39. 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…

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

  41. Another wonderful recipe. I love Chick peas!

  42. 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!

  43. 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.

  44. 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. 🙂

  45. 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!)

  46. 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!

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

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

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

  49. 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.

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

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