This smoked paprika and chickpea soup is a comforting and satisfying, pantry-friendly meal that can be made in the slow cooker or on the stovetop.
This is something to make in a hurry when you want a hearty, simple soup and don’t have any time or any stock. Don’t overdo the smoked paprika—it should exude a slightly smoky mystery to the soup, not the obvious taste of full-blown paprika.–Tamasin Day-Lewis
LC Paltry Pantry Note
You may want to keep this simple blueprint for soup affixed to the inside of cabinet door, just as a reminder for those nights when you think there’s nothing to scrounge for supper. Bear in mind, if you happen to have vegetables on hand aside from what the recipe calls for, you may as well toss them in, too. Swiss chard? Potatoes. Sure! Conversely, an error of omission isn’t the end of the world. No celery? No worries. See how easy that is? Not to mention satiating–far more so than a bowl of cold cereal. So look in your pantry again. Dinner’s in there. You just have to know where to look.
Paprika and Chickpea Soup FAQs
Can I substitute fresh tomatoes for canned?
Yes! Keep in mind that a 14-ounce can of canned tomatoes is about the same as 5-6 fresh tomatoes (nearly 1 pound). You may want to remove the skin from your tomatoes first, but it’s simple. Just cut a shallow “X” in the bottom of your tomato, drop it briefly into boiling water, and then immediately into ice water. The shock of the heat/cold and the science-y expanding/contracting makes the skins loose and easy to peel.
Are chickpeas healthy?
Chickpeas are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They’re super high in protein and are often used as a replacement for meat in vegan and vegetarian recipes.
Are chickpeas the same as garbanzo beans?
Yep. They’re exactly the same bean. The word “chickpea” is their English name and “garbanzo” is their Spanish name. Same bean. Same taste. Same benefits.
Smoked Paprika and Chickpea Soup
- Slow cooker (if following the slow cooker method)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 red onion peeled and minced
- 3 garlic cloves peeled and minced
- 2 celery stalks strings removed with a potato peeler and chopped small
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary leaves
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas (yup, you can swap a 14.5-ounce [411-g] can of rinsed, drained chickpeas in place of soaked, dried, cooked chickpeas)
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 level tablespoon store-bought or homemade tomato paste
- One (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes undrained
- 4 to 5 ladles cold water (or use stock of any kind that’s languishing in your freezer)
- Coarse salt and black pepper
- A small handful flat-leaf parsley chopped
- To make the Smoked Paprika and Chickpea Soup in your slow cooker, see the Slow Cooker Variation below. To make the Smoked Paprika and Chickpea Soup on your stovetop, heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat and add the onion, garlic, celery, and rosemary. Sauté for a few minutes until the vegetables and aromatics begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the chickpeas, smoked paprika, bay leaves, tomato paste, and canned tomatoes to the pot and bring to a gentle boil. Add the water, season, and return to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Discard the bay leaves. Let the soup cool slightly and then process about half the mixture in a blender or with an immersion blender. Stir the purée back into the soup in the pot. Taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Reheat gently, if needed, and stir in the parsley. Ladle into warm bowls.
Slow Cooker VariationWouldn’t you know it? The simplest of soups becomes even simpler when made in a slow cooker. Follow step 1 of the instructions above, omitting the rosemary. Transfer the sautéed veggies to a slow cooker and stir in the tomato paste. Then add the chickpeas (we used canned chickpeas), paprika, bay leaves, diced tomatoes and their juice, water, salt, and pepper, and the sprig whole of rosemary (don’t worry, you can fish it out later). Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 8 hours. Discard the bay leaves and rosemary. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with the parsley. [Editor’s Note: Bear in mind, no two slow cookers are exactly alike, just as no two cooks are exactly alike. This slow-cooker approach worked really, really well for us, although if you have a different slow-cooker cooking technique you want to try by all means, do so. And, natch, we’d love if you’d share it with us in a comment below.] Curious to hear more about working magic with your slow cooker? Peruse our entire selection of slow cooker recipes.
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Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I made this in my slow cooker and it turned out great. I used canned chickpeas and I cooked it on high for 3 1/2 hours. I left the sprig of rosemary whole so I could remove it before serving. We loved it and, because we have leftovers, I ate it for a few days.
I adapted this for the slow cooker and used canned beans as they can stand up to the time taken by a slow cooker. The one thing I have learned with this kind of slow cooking is the spices disappear, so I doubled the amount of smoked paprika. It definitely made a much richer tasting soup. I also put my rosemary in whole and the removed it at the end, as I find when it’s chopped and cooked for a long time I don’t like the texture it leaves behind. I also finished the soup with cilantro instead of parsley and a squeeze of lemon to brighten it. It was incredibly tasty and have been eating the leftovers for days.
This is a delicious soup, and so easy to convert to a slow-cooker, although my soup turned out like more of a tomato soup rather than the broth-based soup that appears in the photo with this recipe. This soup could easily be transformed into a minestrone by adding a cup of diced zucchini to the celery-onion combination and adding a cup of cooked orzo or ditalini to the soup right before serving. I would also refrain from blending half your cooked soup, as the recipe suggests; the chickpeas are much tastier in whole form. I cooked my soup on low for 8 hours and had soft but not mushy chickpeas and deep, complex flavors.
This makes a wonderfully flavorful soup that fills the kitchen with a great aroma and a hint of the goodness to come. I didn’t saute the vegetables first, and when I make it again I’ll do that before I put everything into the slow cooker. I think that the flavors would develop to a much deeper level if the vegetables are sauteed first. This was so good that we forgot to purée some of it first—we tasted it and then just dug in! Today we puréed half of what was left and found that It was even better, if that is possible!
Originally published March 14, 2011
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
You had me at chickpeas and smoked paprika. As someone who’ll eat chickpeas straight out of the can as a snack, I’m a little biased, but this soup was fantastic—not just for its sheer yummiosity, but for the fact that dinner was made in the time it takes for water to boil. All of the ingredients were on-hand, and nothing weird had to be purchased (although, depending on where you live, the smoked paprika might be hard to find). I wouldn’t recommend switching it out for the non-smoked variety, as the flavor wouldn’t be right. But if you can’t find smoked paprika, adobo sauce from a can of chipotles might just do the trick. Pureeing half of the soup and adding it back into the mix gave it a great, hearty texture, but if you’re looking for lighter fare, the soup is also quite nice before processing. The recipe made a good amount, at least enough for 6 healthy servings. I even ate it chilled (with a much-improved flavor). I’d most certainly make this again.