Mediterranean Chickpea and Chicken Soup

updated May 20, 2020
Mediterranean Chickpea and Chicken Soup

This is everything you want in a homemade weeknight soup: richly flavored broth, mininum cooking time and warm spices.

Serves4 to 6

Prep25 minutes

Cook25 minutes

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
overhead view of a bowl of soup with chicken and chickpeas
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Let me keep this simple — Mediterranean chickpea and chicken soup is everything you want in a homemade weeknight soup. Chicken thighs make for a richly-flavored broth; canned chickpeas keep the cooking time to a minimum; and tangy tomatoes and warm spices bring the whole pot together. There’s a bit of soothing chopping to get things started, and then the whole pot simmers on the stove and perfumes your whole house as it cooks.

This soup is exactly the thing we all need more of right now: healthful but comforting, and warm and soothing like a blanket in a bowl. Here’s how to make it.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Mediterranean Chickpea and Chicken Soup

This soup was inspired by the tenets of the Mediterranean diet — lots of vegetables, beans, and healthy fats — and has quickly become a weeknight family favorite. It isn’t as quick-cooking as heating up a can of soup, but it won’t take all night either. Plus, the results of your extra efforts (namely braising the chicken and chickpeas in the broth) make this a truly stunning soup.

Here’s how to do it. Chop up an onion and a bell pepper and mince some garlic. Sauté these in a splash of olive oil and add spices like cumin and paprika. Add some chicken thighs, two cans of drained chickpeas and some broth to the pot. Cover and let it bubble away until the chicken is tender. After about 25 minutes, pull out the thighs, add some canned tomatoes and shred the chicken. Finally, return the chicken to the pot along with a whole bunch of spinach and serve.

This weeknight soup doesn’t need a side, but you may want a hunk of crusty bread to soak up every bit of the broth.

Mediterranean Chickpea and Chicken Soup

This is everything you want in a homemade weeknight soup: richly flavored broth, mininum cooking time and warm spices.

Prep time 25 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    large yellow onion

  • 1

    large yellow, red, or orange bell pepper

  • 4 cloves

    garlic

  • 1 teaspoon

    smoked paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans

    chickpeas

  • 4

    boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds total)

  • 3 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1 (32-ounce) box

    low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 (15-ounce) can

    diced tomatoes

  • 2 tablespoons

    tomato paste

  • 5 ounces

    baby spinach (about 5 cups)

Instructions

  1. Prepare the following, placing them together in a medium bowl: Dice 1 large yellow onion and 1 large bell pepper, and mince 4 garlic cloves. Combine 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a small bowl. Drain and rinse 2 cans chickpeas.

  2. Pat 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs dry with paper towels. Sprinkle all over with the spice mixture.

  3. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion, pepper, and garlic, and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Push the vegetables to one side of the pot and add the chicken to the other side. Add 1 box chicken broth and the chickpeas. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover and simmer, reducing the heat as needed, until the chicken and chickpeas are tender, 22 to 25 minutes.

  4. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board. Add 1 can diced tomatoes and their juices and 2 tablespoons tomato paste to the soup and stir to combine well. Use a fork to shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces, then return the chicken to the pot. Simmer for 5 minutes more.

  5. Remove the pot from the heat. Add 5 ounces baby spinach (about 5 cups) and stir until the spinach is wilted. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Substitute frozen spinach: To substitute frozen spinach for the fresh, stir in an equal weight (or more, if desired; this is flexible) of frozen spinach (no need to thaw first). Stir and simmer until warmed through.

Add frozen corn: For an extra veggie boost we also like this with frozen corn. Stir in 1 cup of frozen corn kernels in final simmering step (no need to thaw first). Heat until warmed through.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 4 days.