Chickpea Soup

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Chickpea Soup combines lentils, veggies, and chickpeas in a coconut and curry-seasoned broth. This nourishing soup is packed with good-for-you ingredients and is naturally vegan and dairy-free!

Overhead image of the Chickpea Soup

Chickpea Soup

It’s no secret we’re obsessed with chickpeas — from these Mexican Chickpeas to these Hummus Wraps, and let’s not forget Beans on Toast! We’ve also used chickpeas a few times as a replacement for meat like in these Vegetarian Tuna Salad sandwiches, Pesto Chickpea Sandwiches, and Chickpea Salad Sandwiches.

So it was about time we created a soup with chickpeas! And it just so happens to be naturally vegan, dairy-free, and packed with nourishing ingredients.

To make this soup thick without adding loads of dairy and butter, we thicken the broth with chickpeas and lentils. We blend a portion of the soup, which thickens things nicely resulting in a nice and hearty soup.

Process shots--images of the oil, onion, carrots, garlic, ginger, tomato paste, and seasonings being added and everything being sautéed together

What Lentils To Use

You’ll want to use dried red lentils for this soup. There is no need to soak the lentils before adding to this soup — for this recipe, we just rinse them off, and they’re ready to go!

Red/orange lentils are more processed, break down quicker (about 15-20 minutes), and thicken the chickpea soup quite a bit. This recipe, timing-wise and flavor-wise, relies on red lentils so we don’t recommend using a different type of lentil.

Can I use other lentils? Puy lentils (French lentils) take nearly 45-50 minutes to cook through and in this soup, they would absorb too much liquid, so we don’t recommend them. Brown/green lentils also take a bit longer to cook through and have a slightly different flavor profile than we’re going for. Canned won’t thicken the soup the way we need!

QUICK TIP

When over-cooked, red lentils will turn mushy, so watch the soup carefully near the end.

Process shots-- images of the crushed tomatoes, lentils, broth, and coconut milk being added to the chickpea soup

 

Image of the vegan broth used in this dish

Chickpea Soup Tips

Blending. A portion of this soup requires a trip through the blender, and I recommend a high-powered one to get the chickpeas and lentils ultra-smooth. When blending, make sure to secure the lid on tightly and then select the “soup” or “hot” cycle. Increase speed slowly and watch it carefully to avoid soup exploding out or over. Remove the lid carefully as it will likely release a burst of steam. If your blender doesn’t have a hot/soup setting, you can compensate by replacing the blender lid with a folded towel and holding it in place with your hands. This will help reduce steam pressure. 

Thoroughly sauté the veggies. To avoid crunchy onion and carrot bites in the finished Chickpea Soup, make sure to take the time to really soften them at the beginning of the cooking time. They don’t soften much more throughout the rest of the soup-making process.

Spiciness. As written, this soup is fairly mild, depending on the curry powder used. The sweetness of the coconut milk helps to balance the spiciness of the curry powder and red pepper flakes. If you’re sensitive to heat, leave out the red pepper flakes and if you’d prefer a spicier soup, add some crushed red pepper flakes to individual bowls.

Chickpea tenderness. We like the chickpeas to still have a nice chewiness to them, so we add them after the lentils have already simmered for 10 minutes. If you’d prefer softer chickpeas, add them in along with the lentils!

Process shots of the chickpea soup-- images of the chickpeas being added and some of it being blended

Chickpea Soup Toppings

  • Lemon. Lemon adds a wonderful flavor, welcome freshness, and a hit of acidity. We add lemon zest and juice to the soup as it’s finishing, and we also serve additional lemon wedges on the side. In our books, the more lemon, the tastier this Chickpea Soup is! 
  • Fresh herbs. For a citrusy finishing, stir some cilantro into the soup. We also occasionally serve some fresh mint on top, which adds a nice complexity to the flavor. Fresh herbs are not completely essential, so if you don’t have them, don’t worry.
  • Coconut milk. Before adding the coconut milk to the soup, we set aside 1/3 cup to drizzle on the tops of the soup bowls. Besides looking fancy, it also adds a nice intense coconut flavor to the soup. If you don’t want this finishing flavor, add all the coconut milk to the soup instead of setting any aside.

QUICK TIP

For the coconut milk, look for shelf-stable, not refrigerated, cans of coconut milk. You’ll find canned coconut milk on the international aisle, with Latin or Asian products. Be sure to use full-fat coconut milk for the best flavor and thickness. Lite coconut milk won’t thicken and give you the rich, full flavor that regular coconut milk will. Cream of coconut is far too sweet and coconut cream tends to be too thick (and overpoweringly coconut flavored) for this recipe.

Process shots-- images of the cilantro, lemon zest, and lemon juice being added and mixed together

STORAGE

Chickpea Soup Storage

This soup just continues to get more flavorful as it sits and flavors have a chance to meld and intensify.

It will stay fresh for 4-5 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Unfortunately, it doesn’t freeze very well; the veggies and lentils get a bit mushy when thawed. If the yield of soup is too much to be eaten within those 4-5 days, I recommend halving the recipe initially.

Reheat the soup gently in a pot over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. You’ll likely need to add in an additional splash of water to slightly thin the soup. It does thicken as it sits and is stored.

Overhead image of the chickpea soup in a bowl

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Chickpea Soup

5 from 1 vote
Chickpea Soup combines lentils, veggies, and chickpeas in a coconut and curry-seasoned broth. This nourishing soup is packed with healthful ingredients and is naturally vegan and dairy-free!
Print Recipe

Chickpea Soup

5 from 1 vote
Chickpea Soup combines lentils, veggies, and chickpeas in a coconut and curry-seasoned broth. This nourishing soup is packed with healthful ingredients and is naturally vegan and dairy-free!
Course Dinner, Soup
Cuisine Healthy, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword chickpea soup
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings
Calories 262kcal
Cost $6.43

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 cup (135g) each: diced yellow onion, diced carrots
  • 1 tablespoon each: finely minced garlic and minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon each: ground cumin, paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • 4 cups Vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup (110g) red lentils Note 1
  • 1-1/4 tsp Fine sea salt and pepper
  • 2 cans (15.5 oz. each) chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (13.5 oz.) full-fat coconut milk, separated, Note 2
  • Optional, for serving: 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro, fresh mint leaves

Instructions

  • PREP: Open can of coconut milk and stir well. Remove 1/3 cup of coconut milk and set aside for later.
  • VEGGIES: In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots. Season to taste, I add 1/4 teaspoon each of salt & pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder, cumin, paprika, optional red pepper flakes, tomato paste, additional salt & pepper to taste (I add 1 teaspoon fine sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper). Cook, stirring frequently until very fragrant, about 2-4 minutes. Add in can of undrained crushed tomatoes and cook, mixing and scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pan for 1 minute.
  • SIMMER: Add the red lentils, vegetable stock, and all the coconut milk except the set aside 1/3 cup. (See Note 3.) Bring to a boil. As soon as it boils, cover the pot and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, add the chickpeas, return lid to the pot and cook 10 minutes more. Remove lid and carefully transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender and purée until smooth (See Note 4).
  • FINISHING: Add the puréed soup back to the pot and stir. Add in lemon zest, lemon juice, and cilantro if using. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. If you'd like the soup to be thicker, blend a bit more soup. Ladle the soup into bowls. Drizzle the reserved coconut milk on top of bowls and serve with additional fresh cilantro and/or fresh mint. Serve with lemon wedges and enjoy!

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Lentils: You’ll want to use dried red lentils for this soup. There is no need to soak the lentils before adding to this soup; we just rinse them off, and they're ready to go! We don't recommend using a different type of lentils -- they won't cook the same.
Note 2: Coconut milk: Look for shelf-stable, not refrigerated, cans of coconut milk. You’ll find canned coconut milk on the international aisle, with Latin or Asian products. Be sure to use full-fat coconut milk for the best flavor and thickness. Lite coconut milk won’t thicken and give you the rich, full flavor that regular coconut milk will.
Note 3: Chickpea tenderness: We like the chickpeas to still have a nice chewiness to them, so we add them after the lentils have already simmered for 10 minutes. If you'd prefer softer chickpeas, add them in along with the lentils.
Note 4: Blending: When blending, make sure to secure the lid on tightly and select the “soup” or “hot” cycle. Increase speed slowly and watch it carefully to avoid soup exploding out or over. Remove the lid carefully as it will likely release a burst of steam. If your blender doesn’t have a hot/soup setting, you can compensate by replacing the blender lid with a folded towel and holding it in place with your hands. This will help reduce steam pressure. 

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 31.7g | Protein: 10.1g | Fat: 11.9g | Sodium: 661.4mg | Fiber: 7.8g | Sugar: 4.7g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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