Thick and Hearty Garbanzo Bean Soup

Vegan garbanzo bean soup using canned beans.

After the ridiculous indulgence of the smoked Gouda cauliflower gratin (or maybe you used skim milk and it wasn’t so bad?), I felt like it was time to lighten up the blog without compromising on heartiness.  I mean, it is freezing outside after all.  This garbanzo bean soup has been in pretty regular rotation in my winter diet since I moved into my first apartment.  It was such a shithole, guys.  But I loved the hell out of that shithole.   Looking back, I don’t know how I was able to cook in the tiny little galley kitchen I had.  I only had two feet of counter space, and it wasn’t even full cabinet-depth.  It was the counter on top of this old built-in shelf, maybe a foot deep.  So when I put a cookie tray on that counter, it stuck out over the edge.  But hey, I was young and I was excited to have my own place.

Worse than the kitchen was the state of the apartment when I moved in.  There were old socks behind every radiator (and even one moldy sandwich).  What I used as an office was clearly the masturbation station of the previous tenants (the university’s baseball team).  The walls were pretty much nothing but pinholes because the guys had pinned up so many pictures of naked ladies on the walls.  Most of that could be fixed by a quick round of cleaning and a coat of paint, but the biggest problem was the floors.  When I moved in, the guy they had hired to clean the place had just waxed over the dirty floors and it was obvious that he had been doing that for years.  The wax was almost a quarter inch thick and it housed the detritus of twenty years worth of tenants (at least – the house was a hundred years old).  My mother and I tried every wax stripper on the market, but at the end of our trials we ended up scraping all the wax off by hand.  So we were on our hands and knees scraping filthy wax off 1500 square feet of hardwood.

When people at work ask how I find the time to bake and craft after work, I should remember to say that with a mother like mine I can’t help but be a worker.

Now after all this talk of working hard I feel super-lazy sharing such an easy recipe.   But hey, a girl’s gotta eat and this soup is delicious.  It comes together really quickly and while it cooks you have twenty minutes or so available for other chores.  That’s a perfect amount of time for unloading the dishwasher and wiping down the counters.  Or putting up a load of laundry.  Or cleaning a bathroom.  Or you could just stare at the soup cooking because you’re tired and you want to inhale all the aromas.  I won’t judge you.

Now I know my Florida relatives are going to scoff at this garbanzo bean soup; how dare I make it without ham or chorizo?  But 1) I don’t like ham or chorizo, 2) I’m a vegetarian, and 3) I’m allergic to pork!.  I also like that leaving out the pork forced me to explore other seasonings; if I’d stuck to the traditional recipe then I’d never have discovered how amazingly rosemary pairs with garbanzo beans.  If you really miss the smoky flavor of the pork but still want to make this vegetarian (the recipe happens to be vegan too), then add some smoked paprika.  That stuff is magic.

If you don’t already have one, you should really consider getting an immersion blender.  I’ve mentioned it before, but this is a tool that gets a lot of use in my kitchen.  I’m a lover of the creamy soup, but not always a lover of the calories that come from creamy soups.  Pureed soups are the answer to that; you get the thick, hearty texture of a creamy soup but don’t need to add all those fat calories to the dish.  Of course, you can puree in a blender but I’m not a fan.  First, when you puree in a blender that means you now have to clean a blender.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.  But more importantly, you have less control over texture when you use a blender.  With the immersion blender, it’s easy to decide how much you want to puree.  For this soup, I puree very little because I want the broth to be a little on the thin side.

An easy garbanzo bean soup using canned beansNow, you’ll notice from the picture above that I took a photo of my ingredients in front of my Instant Pot.  When I started cooking this, I thought I’d try to turn this recipe into a slow cooker recipe.  So I started it out that way.  Dumped in the ingredients, set the cooker on low, and went about my chores.  But about an hour into the slow-cooking I got a whiff of the scent of this and just had to have it right that minute.  So I switched it over to the saute function and cooked it like a regular soup.

Thick and Hearty Garbanzo Bean Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1-2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans (chick peas)
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 potato, peeled and diced

Over medium heat, saute the onions, carrots, and celery in the olive oil until the onions turn translucent and the carrots begin to slightly soften.

Add in the rest of the ingredients.

Reduce heat to low and simmer until all the vegetables are tender (about twenty minutes).  Fish out the sprig of rosemary.

Now, use an immersion blender to puree a small portion of the soup.  This will provide a thick broth but you will still have plenty of intact vegetables.


I didn’t take a picture of the soup right as I pureed it in the pot, so here’s a picture that I hope lets you see the texture you’re going for.

And that’s it!

Vegan garbanzo bean soup using canned beans.

Also, you guys know that garbanzo beans and chick peas are the same thing, right?  I don’t need to tell you that.

Easy vegan garbanzo bean soup comes together in half an hour using canned beans.