Smoked Paprika and Chickpea Soup

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.

Two bowls, one filled with smoked paprika and chickpea soup, with a spoon resting inside, and the other bowl empty.

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

Two bowls, one filled with smoked paprika and chickpea soup, with a spoon resting inside, and the other bowl empty.
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

Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 30 mins
Mains
American
4 servings
181 kcal
5 / 7 votes
Print RecipeBuy the Supper for a Song cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Equipment

  • Slow cooker (if following the slow cooker method)

Ingredients 

  • 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

Directions
 

  • 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.
Print RecipeBuy the Supper for a Song cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Notes

Slow Cooker Variation

Wouldn’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.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1portionCalories: 181kcal (9%)Carbohydrates: 26g (9%)Protein: 8g (16%)Fat: 6g (9%)Saturated Fat: 1g (6%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 11mgPotassium: 299mg (9%)Fiber: 7g (29%)Sugar: 5g (6%)Vitamin A: 102IU (2%)Vitamin C: 4mg (5%)Calcium: 53mg (5%)Iron: 3mg (17%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

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.

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

HUNGRY FOR MORE?

#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My boyfriend and I looooove this soup. About to make it for the third time so I figured I would leave a note in thanks. I follow the stovetop recipe closely and it’s great as is! I don’t like rosemary much, so I just soak a couple of stems with the leaves and remove them with the bay leaves. I also don’t remove the celery strings because we don’t notice a difference. Thanks for a great recipe!!

  2. Using the slowcooker version. Should i still puree half and add it back to the batch or is that only for stove stop version?

  3. 5 stars
    Made this tonight for my ailing daughter and it was wonderful for both the sick and the well. We both enjoyed the seasoning and consistency of the soup that made it rustic in flavor. I served Parmesan toast points by Ina Garten along with it, and they added a nice crunch. The soup was both really tasty and easy, making it the perfect meal.

    1. Cleo, we’re sorry to hear that your daughter isn’t feeling well, but much relieved to know that this soup brought some measure of comfort to you both. It’s one of our favorites, evidenced by all the comments you see above, although we’ve never gone wrong with a recipe by Tamasin Day-Lewis. Many, many thanks for sharing this with us.

  4. We made this twice and loved it! It was so easy to throw together and very tasty. Using other readers’ suggestions, we pureed half the soup, which gave it great texture. The second time, we made it in the slow cooker. Unfortunately I didn’t think ahead of time to reduce the water, so the soup was a little runny, but other than that still good.

    1. Lovely to hear, Sara. Lovely. This is our default pantry supper, and sounds like it is for you, too. Appreciate the slow-cooker advice…how much water would you suggest using?

          1. I just realized cooking time would probably be very helpful 😉 I cooked it for 6 hours on low. I didn’t get home until a couple hours after it was done, but it was still good after being on my crock pot’s keep warm setting for an additional two hours.

  5. Really yummy, made a couple of adjustments. I cut back the tomatoes to about 60% of what the recipe called for. Used more liquid, 50/50 chicken broth to water. Also used a touch more rosemary (love the stuff), doubled the garlic (also love!), and cooked for 30 minutes+ to ensure the flavors melded well, before a minute with an immersion blender (still plenty of whole garbanzos remain.) Delish with toasted ciabatta bread drizzled with EVOO.

Have something to say?

Then tell us. Have a picture you'd like to add to your comment? Attach it below. And as always, please take a gander at our comment policy before posting.

Rate this recipe!

Have you tried this recipe? Let us know what you think.

Upload a picture of your dish