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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.

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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. Pingback: Weekly Roundup #13 – Prevention Kitchen

  2. Excellent hearty soup.,I didn't have chicken broth so I used beef broth instead.,very good!!!! My husband loved it!

  3. 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.

  4. What do you think about cooking this in a crockpot?

  5. how many calories in this soup?

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

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

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

  9. 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!

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

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

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

  15. 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.

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

  17. 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!

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

  19. 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!

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