chickpea curry soup
chickpea curry soup

Rustic Chickpea Tomato Soup

Indian spices provide an intensely flavorful and savory broth for the chickpeas. Fresh spinach is added at the end to keep the color as vibrantly green as possible. Turn this soup into a meal with a side of toasty french bread.

Prep Time:

Cook Time: 27 minutes
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Recipe Rundown

rustic chickpea and tomato soup

For an easy, rustic dinner, I look forward to this burnished red soup. It humbly relies on spices for deep flavors. No meat, just good technique.

What I like to do is sit with a steaming hot bowl of this savory tomato soup with a big chunk of bread, which I usually tear by hand and slather with butter.

This rustic chickpea tomato soup originated like many of my recipes when I was living and teaching cooking classes in New York. This class was all about how people can cook for one day and eat for five.

Canned Tomatoes for Tomato Soup

This soup made it on the menu because it reheats well for a convenient supper. For whatever reason, we were always given canned tomato puree instead of “tomato sauce.” We did our best to thin it out with lots of water, but it wasn’t the same. So, be certain to look at the tomato can label for the word “sauce”.

Actually, my favorite part was watching people experience the first step. Toasting the spices. This is a novelty for most people, who stare closely at the spices wondering what to look for.

I always enjoy using the palm of my hand to move the air towards my nose. Spices will release a toasty aroma when they are ready.

Rustic Chickpea Tomato Soup

Everybody likes this vegetarian, gluten free recipe. Funny thing about working with spices, you will always find people who say it’s too spicy and people who like it as-is.

I’ve been told by about 20 people this recipe has the “right” amount of heat and by about 10 that it’s too spicy. If you’re at all concerned about the heat factor, you can skip the cayenne pepper. Taste, and always mute the intensity by adding more coconut milk.

If you make any adjustments, let others know in the comments below.

Rustic Chickpea Tomato Soup

Rustic Chickpea Tomato Soup

Indian spices provide an intensely flavorful and savory broth for the chickpeas. Fresh spinach is added at the end to keep the color as vibrantly green as possible. Turn this soup into a meal with a side of toasty french bread.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American, Indian
Keyword: chickpea, gluten free, tomato
Cook Time: 27 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes
Servings: 6 bowls
Calories: 187kcal
Author: Chef Sara Furcini


  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander toasted
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds toasted
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne optional
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 15- oz can tomato sauce do not use tomato puree
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk stir then measure
  • 3 15.5 oz canned chickpeas drained
  • 10 oz baby spinach
  • 4 stalks celery thinly sliced
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ cup cilantro minced (garnish)


Soup Base: Layering the Flavors

  • Toast the whole cumin and coriander seeds in a small dry skillet until very fragrant over medium low heat, 7 minutes. Grind in a spice grinder.
    Toasting Spices
  • In a soup pot (I like to use a dutch oven) warm the ghee over low medium heat and sweat the onion for 5 minutes until translucent. Stir occasionally to prevent browning.
  • Stir in the garlic cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add toasted spices and all powdered spices — salt, ginger, cayenne, cinnamon, turmeric, paprika, and curry powder. Stir to coat the onions, cook for 2 minutes.

Marrying the Liquids with the Chickpeas

  • Add the tomato sauce and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Stir in the vegetable stock, coconut milk, and canned/cooked chickpeas. Raise heat and simmer for another 10 minutes. Stir in the spinach and celery and cook just until wilted, 1 minute.
  • Turn off the heat and adjust seasoning with salt. Garnish with fresh cilantro.


Time permitting, chickpeas made in a pressure cooker are ideal for their texture. For this recipe, I add 2 cups chickpeas, soaked overnight with a 2-inch piece of seaweed called kombu into a large pressure cooker. Cover chickpeas under 2-inches of water, bring to pressure, then continue to cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Proceed with recipe in place of canned chickpeas.


Calories: 187kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 1165mg | Potassium: 738mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 5555IU | Vitamin C: 21.9mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 3.4mg

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