Lemony Chickpea Soup

$4.52 recipe / $1.13 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.95 from 18 votes
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Quick and easy soups made with canned beans have become my favorite go-to easy meal when I’m too tired to cook and too broke to eat out. I’ve made several variations of this soup over the years, including the viral Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup, but this week I made a Mediterranean-inspired Lemony Chickpea Soup. It’s fast, easy, has bright flavors, and pairs perfectly with some crusty bread for a simple no-fuss meal.

Overhead view of three bowls of lemony chickpea soup garnished with a lemon slice.

This incredibly simple Lemony Chickpea soup combines puréed chickpeas, broth, and some seasoning to create a perfectly comforting and flavorful bowl of soup. And since most of these ingredients are shelf-stable, this is a pantry meal you can make any time with no planning head.

Ingredients for Lemony Chickpea Soup

Here’s all you’ll need to make this deliciously easy chickpea soup:

  • Garlic: A hefty dose of garlic gives this soup a deep savory flavor and perfectly balances the bright lemon.
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil is used to sauté the garlic and give the soup a little bit of richness in the mouthfeel.
  • Chickpeas: This recipe uses canned chickpeas to make the entire preparation fast and easy. If you prefer to use chickpeas cooked from dry, you’ll need about 4-5 cups of cooked chickpeas.
  • Chicken Broth: Broth adds a lot of savory depth to the soup as well as the salt needed to make each flavor pop.
  • Lemon: A splash of lemon juice brightens up the flavors in the soup, provides a nice contrast to the savory garlic flavor, and gives the soup a fresh Mediterranean flavor.
  • Seasoning: The seasoning profile for the soup is fairly simple with just a little bit of thyme, oregano, red pepper, and black pepper. Keeping the seasoning light gives the soup a bright and fresh flavor.

What to Serve with Lemony Chickpea Soup

This chickpea soup is just begging for some crusty bread for dipping, so I highly suggest making a loaf of our easy no-knead bread or focaccia rolls. Or, if you need something a little faster, homemade garlic bread would also be amazing with this soup. And, if you want some veggies on the side, a simple side salad would be awesome, or you could go with something a little heftier, like tortellini salad.

Tips for Smooth Chickpea Soup

Canned chickpeas can often be a bit on the firm side, so to make sure your chickpea soup is extra smooth you may need to pre-boil the chickpeas, but it depends largely on the brand of chickpeas. Some canned chickpeas are quite soft, while others are very firm or borderline undercooked.

If your chickpeas are very firm, simply empty the can and liquid into a small saucepot and simmer them for about 10 minutes. Let the chickpeas cool before transferring to the blender to purée.

Overhead view of a pot full of lemony chickpea soup with garlic bread on the side.
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Lemony Chickpea Soup

4.95 from 18 votes
This Lemony Chickpea Soup recipe is simple, budget-friendly, and delicious. It's the perfect comforting low-effort meal for busy nights.
Overhead view of a bowl of lemony chickpea soup with a spoon in the middle.
Servings 4 (1.25 cups each)
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 18 minutes
Total 23 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 15oz. cans chickpeas, divided ($2.67)
  • 4 cloves garlic ($0.32)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 2 cups chicken broth ($0.26)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.05)
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper ($0.02)
  • 1 lemon ($0.79)
  • 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste) ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper ($0.02)
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Instructions 

  • Add 2 of the cans of chickpeas to a blender with the liquid in the can and purée until smooth.* Drain the third can of chickpeas and set aside.
  • Mince the garlic and add it to a saucepot with the olive oil. Sauté the garlic over medium heat for about one minute, or just until the garlic becomes very fragrant.
  • Add the puréed chickpeas, drained chickpeas, chicken broth, thyme, oregano, red pepper, salt, and pepper to the soup pot with the garlic. Stir to combine.
  • Allow the soup to come up to a simmer, then simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While the soup simmers, zest and juice half of the lemon (you'll need about 2 Tbsp juice and ½ tsp zest). Slice the remaining lemon for garnish.
  • After the soup has simmered, add 2 Tbsp juice and a pinch of lemon zest, then stir to combine.
  • Taste the soup and adjust the salt, lemon juice, pepper, or other herbs to your liking. The amount of salt needed to properly flavor the soup will depend on the salt content of your broth, so make sure to salt to taste at the end.
  • Garnish the soup with the remaining lemon slices and zest, a drizzle of olive oil, and more pepper if desired, then serve with crusty bread and enjoy!

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Notes

*Some brands of canned chickpeas are quite firm. To make the soup really smooth you may need to pre-simmer the beans for about 10 minutes to make them softer before blending. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1.25cupCalories: 375kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 18gFat: 14gSodium: 1527mgFiber: 15g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Overhead view of three bowls of lemony chickpea soup garnished with slices of lemon.

How to Make Lemony Chickpea Soup – Step by Step Photos

Blended chickpeas in a blender with a spoon.

Add two 15oz. cans of chickpeas to a blender, with the liquid in the can, and purée until smooth. If the brand of chickpeas you’re using are extra firm, you may want to simmer the chickpeas in the liquid for about 10 minutes before blending to soften them more. Let the simmered chickpeas cool slightly before blending, as blending hot liquids can be dangerous.

Minced garlic in a soup pot with olive oil.

Mince four cloves of garlic (or more, if you’d like!) and add them to a saucepot with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté the minced garlic over medium heat for about one minute, or just until the garlic becomes very fragrant.

Beans, broth, and herbs in the soup pot.

Add the puréed beans, one can of drained chickpeas, 2 cups of chicken broth, ½ tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp dried oregano, 1 pinch of crushed red pepper, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper to the pot. Stir to combine and bring the soup up to a simmer over medium heat.

Zested and juiced lemon.

Let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, zest and juice half of a lemon (you’ll need 2 Tbsp juice and about ½ tsp zest). Slice the other half of the lemon to use as a garnish.

Lemon juice being added to the soup.

After the soup has simmered for about 10 minutes, add 2 Tbsp lemon juice to the soup along with a pinch of lemon zest.

Finished soup being stirred in the pot.

Taste the soup and adjust the salt, lemon juice, zest, or other herbs to your liking. The amount of salt needed will depend on the salt content of the broth used and it can really help the flavors pop, so make sure to salt to taste at the end.

A ladle full of lemony chickpea soup held close to the camera over the pot of soup.

Garnish the soup with the remaining slices of lemon and lemon zest, extra pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. We also had some parsley in the fridge, so we added some of that for color.

Overhead view of a bowl of lemony chickpea soup with a spoon in the middle.
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  1. Delicious! Loved this as the perfect early spring recipe; the lemon made it feel bright and flavorful while the chickpeas gave this real substance.

    As a note, I’ve come to budgetbytes throughout the years for exactly this kind of recipe: vegetarian friendly mains that are simple and creative. I really appreciate some of the site changes over the years, and I’d love to see more of these sorts of recipes in the coming months.

  2. Thanks, Beth! This was fabulous with about 2/3 lb dried small chickpeas (cooked 1lb, set aside about a third of my cooked batch for another dinner), no-chicken Better Than Bouillon, and a generous amount of lemon juice. My blender struggled a little bit with how thick the chickpea puree got, but it all turned out well!

    1. Y blender struggled too / so I added the broth. Not sure if that alters the texture, but mine came out deelish