Rustic Vegetable Chickpea Soup

Rustic Vegetable Chickpea Soup Rustic Vegetable Chickpea Soup

Is your tummy (or heart) in need of a satisfying, wholesome, veggie-dense, comfort-food lunch? Look no further than this rustic vegetable soup with chard and chickpeas. Sprinkled with parsley and parmesan, and served with a slice or two of dense multigrain bread, this is a meal-in-a-bowl that cultivates happiness and full bellies.

To say this soup is adaptable is a huge understatement. It’s basically my clean-out-the-fridge project. This time, I had a couple of cups of shredded cabbage leftover from a slaw – tossed it in. A 4-inch stub of zucchini? In it went. Feel free to use white beans or lentils instead of chickpeas, or even leftover chicken, shredded, in lieu of legumes.

Sometimes I even just use water instead of stock, but in that case you want to let it hang out a bit longer with the mirepoix for good flavour, simmering for maybe 30 minutes at least before adding the pasta, etc.

Rustic Vegetable Chickpea Soup2 Rustic Vegetable Chickpea Soup

With vegetable soups especially, the key to tastiness is proper seasoning. I feel like I sound like a broken record on this topic, but as someone who made one too many a massive pot of nasty soup in her learning-to-cook days, I can attest to the tremendous difference a generous pinch of salt can make. If it’s adequately salty but still a bit lacklustre, a squeeze of lemon usually does the trick.

Rustic Vegetable Chickpea Soup3 Rustic Vegetable Chickpea Soup

In springtime, the increased light and longer days makes me feel lighter at heart, and I crave lightness in my meals, too. This effect is exaggerated by the fact that I’ve now got baby occupying the space where stomach used to live (and happily expand to accomodate large lunches). This is one light meal that also sticks to your ribs. Yum yum.


Rustic Vegetable Chickpea Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6 to 8
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1½ cups diced tomatoes (from half of a 28 oz can)
  • 1 quart/litre vegetable or chicken stock
  • ½ tsp dried oregano (or 1 tbsp fresh, minced)
  • 1 cup small pasta
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained (or about 2 cups cooked chickpeas)
  • 1 bunch swiss chard, stems and leaves separated, chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • ⅛ tsp cracked black pepper
  • generous pinch red chili flakes, plus more for serving (optional)
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley, plus more for serving (optional)
  • freshly grated parmesan for serving (optional)
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrot and saute until softened, but not browned (reduce heat if they start browning), about 7 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste, then add diced tomatoes, stock and dried oregano. Bring to a boil.
  2. Stir in pasta, chickpeas and swiss chard stems; simmer until pasta is tender, about 10 minutes. Add swiss chard leaves, and stir until wilted, about 1 minute. Add salt, pepper and chili flakes to taste. Stir in parsley just before serving, and top individual bowls with more parsley, chili flakes and parmesan, if desired.



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    • foodess

      March 23, 2013 3:52 pm - Reply

      Thank you :)

  1. Maggie

    March 23, 2013 3:51 pm - Reply

    Gorgeous photos, and the soup sounds delicious. xo

    • foodess

      March 23, 2013 3:52 pm - Reply

      Thanks Maggie :)

  2. Mariana

    March 23, 2013 8:26 pm - Reply

    Yum, looks hearty and satisfying!

    • foodess

      March 26, 2013 10:13 pm - Reply

      Thanks Mariana :)

  3. Jeannette

    March 25, 2013 7:24 am - Reply

    I noticed you mentioned kale and zucchini but didn’t include that in the recipe. How much of each did you use? Thanks!

    • foodess

      March 25, 2013 10:32 am - Reply

      It was chard I used, not kale – but you can use either! The zucchini was just a nub I had in my fridge – maybe 1 cup chopped. Like I said, it’s a “clearing out the fridge soup” – toss in what bits of veggies you have!

  4. The Newlywed Chefs

    March 26, 2013 4:58 pm - Reply

    This sounds like a perfect, healthy, use-up-leftover veggies soup! I love that you used chard!

    • foodess

      March 26, 2013 10:13 pm - Reply

      Gotta get those greens! ;-)

  5. Dave Pettitt

    March 26, 2013 10:05 pm - Reply

    We’ve started adding a small spoonful of szechuan chili oil to our soup just before serving. Adds that nice kick and an amazing, subtle, smokey flavour. Love your recipes Jen. Makes me homesick.

    • foodess

      March 26, 2013 10:13 pm - Reply

      Sounds like a yummy tip, Dave, I’ll have to try it!!

  6. Tara

    March 30, 2013 11:43 am - Reply

    Just made it for lunch. It’s really lovely and filling. Thanks!

    • foodess

      April 2, 2013 2:23 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Tara! Glad you enjoyed :)

  7. [email protected]

    April 17, 2013 10:07 pm - Reply

    This soup looks so good! My kind of soup! Definitely making! (Contragualtions on your nomination!!)

    • foodess

      April 18, 2013 8:33 am - Reply

      Thank you so much Deborah!

  8. Amber

    April 24, 2013 12:13 pm - Reply

    I made this today and it was wonderful! Subbed spinach for chard since that is what I had on hand. Great flavor – light yet still filling. Thanks!

    • foodess

      April 24, 2013 7:03 pm - Reply

      It’s very versatile – glad you enjoyed!!!

  9. stewball

    June 16, 2013 4:40 am - Reply

    What would I use insteadof chard? I ccan’t get it.

  10. Jeanine Poole

    October 28, 2013 4:26 pm - Reply

    Just made it. Oh soooo good.

  11. Ireland

    January 6, 2014 4:42 pm - Reply

    I never expect much out of the recipes I find online, but this one is a true gem. Amazing, healthy comfort food (without the post-meal nap)! It’s great to take for winter lunches at work, as well. Two thumbs up!

  12. Renee

    January 20, 2014 3:33 pm - Reply

    Do you have a calorie count or other nutritional information on this recipe?