Chickpea Soup with Lemon and Rice is the perfect recipe when you’re craving warm, nourishing, satisfying foods. This easy to make one-pot meal is and comforting like a warm hug in a bowl.
This posts has been updated from the original posted September 23, 2020.
Lemon rice soup is the perfect fall and winter comfort food…it’s hearty and light at the same time. Warming flavors and spices, beautiful color, and an awesome chewy, nutty texture is at the heart of this satisfying soup.
One-pot easy clean up, and very little hands on time means you can pull this lemony chickpeas soup off on an average weeknight too.
Turn the simplest of ingredients into a super tasty and nutritious warm, cozy satisfying soup with this easy recipe.
Why you’ll love this Vegan Chickpea Soup
- So satisfying….the texture is amazing, the flavors are rich, it’s filling and hearty without being too heavy.
- One-pot, easy clean up! I’ll let you in on a little secret: I often store the soup in the fridge in the pot I cooked it in…so essentially no clean up (okay, delayed clean up, but that’s OK)….WIN-WIN.
- Nutritious: rich plant based protein, fiber, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory ingredients.
- Excellent for Healthy Meal Prep. Cook once and eat all week! Also, this soup will freeze well.
- Excellent for lunch or dinner…and it’s also the perfect way to break your fast. Yes, I often eat this soup for breakfast in the morning.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Chickpeas: Plant-based protein and fiber help make this vegan soup hearty and satisfying. Substitute great northern beans.
- Basmati rice: Use brown or white. Substitute jasmine rice. The combination of rice and beans provides all the amino acids needed for a complete plant-based protein.
- Mirepouix: A tasty combination of sauteed onions, carrot and celery. My daughter always called this “soup beginnings” when she was little. It’s how most tasty soups are started!
- Miso: A super flavor enhancer for vegan soups. I use it in my split pea soup for the same tasty reason. Anytime a soup calls for ham or bones, use miso for some vegan umami instead. I used mellow light miso. Chickpea miso is a great choice for those allergic to or cutting back on soy products.
What kind of rice should I use for lemon rice soup?
I used brown basmati rice, but I’ve also made it with white jasmine rice and wild rice. Wild rice is a bit more chewy, which I like. It also takes about 10-15 minutes longer to cook than white rice. It’s a good choice though if you’re avoiding grains, since technically, wild rice is a grass. The best rice to use is the one you have in your pantry! Seriously, use what you have.
How to make this soup
Start by heating a dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat. Then do a quick water saute of the onions, carrots and celery. I tried it with olive oil and with water and found no difference in taste in the final product.
Next add in the spices and garlic. I like to use a microplane zester and do this right over the pot. You’ll smell the combination of cumin, garlic, onions, oregano and coriander right away….in the best possible way. YUM.
Stir in the rice and coat it with the spice mixture. Continue to add 1-2 Tablespoons water or vegetable broth as needed to keep the pan from becoming too dry.
Stir in the rice and coat it with the spice mixture. Continue to add water or veggie broth as needed to keep the pan from becoming too dry.
Then add the broth and bay leaves to get the rice cooked. If you make homemade vegetable stock, you may need to add additional salt, but wait until you’re done to taste and see if it’s needed.
When you stir in the miso paste, make sure it’s fully incorporated. You could also dissolve it in a few Tablespoons of the soup broth before adding it to the pot to make that process easier.
While the rice continues to cook, the chickpeas will take on the flavors of the miso and spices. The lemon zest and juice is the final boost for a delicious soup.
I use an immersion blender to puree part of the soup…leaving some chunks, cuz that’s fun!
Garnish with fresh herbs. I like parsley but cilantro, basil, oregano or fresh thyme also work well.
Debra’s Pro Tips
- When soup is totally finished, taste for seasoning and add an additional squirt of lemon before determining if more salt is needed.
- If you prefer a more brothy lemon rice soup, add more vegetable broth, and/or skip the partially puree step.
- Otherwise, puree about half the soup and leave the rest chunky for a varied texture fabulous experience. Clearly my preference 😋
More Chickpea Recipes
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Chickpea Soup with Lemon and Rice
- 1 large yellow onion or two smaller onions: about 1 cup chopped
- 4 large carrots 2 cups sliced
- 3 celery ribs 1 cup sliced
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt*
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ¾ cup basmati rice*
- 8 cups veggie broth
- 3 cups chickpeas 2 15-oz cans, rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup light miso*
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 lemons zested and juiced
- ¼ cup fresh parsley*
- Prepare ingredients: roughly chop the onion(s), thinly slice the celery, slice carrots into small circles. Peel garlic cloves and measure spices. Rinse and drain chickpeas; rinse rice until water runs clear.
- Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Saute onion, celery, carrot in 2 Tablespoons water or both, adding more as needed (1 Tablespoon at a time) so veggies don’t stick to bottom of pan. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, until veggies are starting to soften and they’re lightly browned.
- Use microplane grater (or garlic press) to grate garlic into pot along with oregano, cumin, coriander, turmeric, salt and pepper. cook, stirring for 2 minutes, adding additional water/broth if bottom of pot is too dry.
- Add rinsed rice and stir to coat with spices. Then add veggie broth. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered for 20 minutes. Stir in beans and miso until miso has dissolved. Continue to simmer for 10-15 minutes, until rice is chewy, but not mushy. Remove bay leaves, zest and juice the lemon into the pot and stir well.
- Puree a cup or two of the soup in a blender and return to the pot. OR, blend directly in the pot using an immersion blender. If soup is too thick, add more water/broth until desired consistency is achieved*. Taste for seasoning, adding more S+P as needed. I