Easy Garbanzo Bean Soup

This easy Garbanzo Bean Soup is inspired by the classic Italian chickpea soup called pasta e ceci. It’s a hearty one pot vegetarian soup that’s packed with vegetables and garbanzo beans and takes under one hour from start to finish.

Read on for tips and tricks about this garbanzo bean soup and how to create your own soup recipes. Or just grab your cans of garbanzo beans, hit that Jump to Recipe button, and let’s make soup!

bowl of soup with garbanzo beans, carrots, and greens topped with Parmesan.
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Ingredients

About garbanzo beans

Chickpeas and garbanzo beans are the same thing. The term “chickpea” comes from the French “pois chiches” and from the Latin “cicer.” Garbanzo, on the other hand, supposedly comes from Spanish via the Basque “garbantzu,” a combination of “garau” (“seed”) and “antzu” (“dry”).

 

Regardless of what you call them, garbanzo beans are a great source of protein. They’re found commonly in Middle Eastern dishes like hummus and falafel. They’re seen in curries from India, where most of the world’s chickpeas are grown. Or my family loves spiced roasted chickpeas as a healthy snack.

Please see the recipe card below for complete information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations and substitutions

  • Sub in canned white beans to make this a white bean soup.
  • Use a cup of dried garbanzo beans in place of the canned chickpeas. Soak and cook the garbanzos most of the way before adding them into the recipe.
  • If your fresh tomatoes don’t have much flavor, add a tablespoon of tomato paste.
  • Sub ripe full-sized or roma tomatoes or a small can of chopped tomatoes. While I usually recommend whole canned tomatoes, the short cooking time here requires chopped tomatoes.
  • Instead of Parmesan, garnish your garbanzo soup with chopped parsley or some garlic bread croutons.

You can sub in chicken broth if you aren’t vegetarian.

Recipe tips and tricks

Soup-making is mostly art with a little bit of science thrown in.

Step 1: the soup base

Start with a base cooked in olive oil or butter in a large pot. The French mirepoix is a ratio of 2 parts onion to 1 part celery and 1 part carrot. The Cajun “Holy Trinity” is equal parts of onion, celery, and green bell pepper. In the case of this easy garbanzo bean soup, we start with onions, garlic cloves, celery, and carrots.

chopped vegetables on a cutting board including onions, garlic, carrots, celery, and tomatoes.

Tip from the wise quacker: cherry tomatoes provide acidity to this soup, as does adding vermouth or white wine. You can also finish soups with a little bit of vinegar or lemon or lime juice to add brightness.

Step 2: herbs and spices

Next go in your fresh herbs and spices. In this Italian-inspired garbanzo bean soup, it’s a bay leaf, rosemary, and red pepper flakes. Plus salt and pepper, of course. Add a little at a time, and taste as you go. There is no substitute for your own personal taste.

finger bowl with bay leaf, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and rosemary.

Step 3: add liquids

Add the vegetable broth, water, and vermouth, bring it to a boil, and reduce it to a simmer. That’s a slow bubbling. Vegetable soups are great for weeknight dinners because most cook for less than 30 minutes.

four panels showing the process of making the soup from cooking onions, carrots, and celery and adding the liquid.

Step 4: purée and add pasta

Purée with a blender or just mash some of the vegetables against the side of the pot. If you use a hand-held stick blender, please unplug it before you clean it! Stick blenders are one of the notorious hazards in the kitchen.

The traditional pasta shape for pasta e ceci is ditalini, meaning “small thimbles,” but any small pasta would work in this recipe. I made mine here with acini di pepe (“seeds of pepper”).

a half cup measure filled with small pasta.

Step 5: garnish

Pasta e ceci is traditionally finished with grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano. You can omit or substitute the cheese if you avoid rennet.

What to serve with this garbanzo bean soup

You don’t need much to accompany this hearty soup. I’d recommend:

Recipe FAQs

Why aren’t you calling this pasta e ceci?

While technically it is exactly that, this garbanzo soup is not a traditional recipe and I am not Italian. To compare, check out Marcella Hazan’s pasta e ceci.

How long can I keep garbanzo bean soup in the refrigerator?

Homemade soups can be stored in the refrigerator for three to five days.

Can I freeze this garbanzo soup?

Absolutely. Soups without dairy freeze perfectly prior to garnishing. To serve, reheat it gently in a pot on the stove top.

Check out other easy soup recipes like my roasted broccoli and almond soup, a corn soup recipe with bacon and potatoes, or my four-ingredient potato soup.

Or, if you are looking for vegetarian recipes using chickpeas or beans, try:

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-heart 💜💜💜💜💜 rating in the recipe card below. Let me know how much you loved it, or any problems you had, in the comments section further down.

Recipe

Garbanzo Bean Soup

5 from 3 votes
Category: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4
Calories: 164kcal
This garbanzo bean soup is inspired by the classic Italian chickpea soup. It's a hearty soup perfect for a meat-free dinner. Serve with a side salad and some crusty bread.
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Equipment

  • Blender or stick blender

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ large onion (or 1 medium) chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt plus more as desired
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper plus more as desired
  • teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water plus more as necessary
  • ½ cup dry vermouth or white wine
  • ½ cup small pasta
  • handful of kale, chopped
  • 1 ounce (about 2 tablespoons) Parmesan, grated

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-low heat.
    1 tablespoon olive oil
  • When the olive oil is hot, add the onion and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, just until the onion is starting to color.
    ½ large onion (or 1 medium) chopped
  • Add the carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring, for about one minute.
    2 medium carrots, chopped, 2 stalks celery, chopped, 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Add the cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, and the herbs and spices and stir to mix.
    1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved, 2 cans chickpeas, drained, 1 bay leaf, 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon ground pepper, ⅛ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • Add the liquids (broth, water, and vermouth or wine), increase the heat to high, and bring the soup to a boil. Once it is at a boil, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to a simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    2 cups vegetable broth, 2 cups water, ½ cup dry vermouth or white wine
  • Turn off the heat, ladle out 2 cups of the soup into the blender, and puree.
  • Return the soup back into the pot, add the pasta and the kale, and cook until the pasta is cooked through. You may need to add more water as the pasta cooks, depending on your desired soup consistency.
    ½ cup small pasta, handful of kale, chopped
  • Taste the soup and adjust the salt and pepper as desired.
  • Ladle into bowls, top with the grated Parmesan, and serve immediately.
    1 ounce (about 2 tablespoons) Parmesan, grated

Notes

This garbanzo bean soup is a great introduction to soup-making because it’s easy, and the recipe is extremely versatile.
  • If you don’t have cherry tomatoes, feel free to sub ripe full-sized or roma tomatoes or a small can of chopped tomatoes.
  • Taste the garbanzo soup and adjust the seasonings as you cook. If your fresh tomatoes don’t have much flavor, add a tablespoon of tomato paste.
  • Feel free to sub in canned white beans in place of garbanzo beans. Or soak and partially cook dried garbanzo beans in place of canned.

Nutrition

Calories: 164kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 1223mg | Potassium: 464mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 6091IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 129mg | Iron: 1mg
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Are you an adventurous home cook looking for inspiration in your weeknight meals and weekend baking? Get inspiration here:

steaming bowl of soup filled with chickpeas, carrots, celery, and greens and topped with Parmesan on an outside table. There is a pumpkin and cloudy day in background.

9 Comments

  1. I am making this tonight and probably will do spinach too since i don’t have kale well I have the salad mix one

  2. Amazing, I have some garbanzo beans, and with our weather, it’s perfect timing for soup.
    I visited you via Fall Soup Recipes with Beans & Peas from Your Garden as she linked to this post.

  3. 5 stars
    This soup is a big go-to in my home. Mostly vegetarian and a very picky 3 year old makes healthy meals hard to find. Blending half the soup helps hide all the veggies, which have texture my little one doesn’t like, and makes such a fabulous broth.
    Thank you for this!

5 from 3 votes

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