Welcome to one of the easiest and tastiest soup recipes you will ever meet. Any soup that begins and ends with bacon has to be fabulous, no?

Chickpea Chicken Soup I howsweeteats.com

And aside from the minimal amount of bacon grease and the few slices of bacon swimming throughout the soup, this is a quick and healthy meal. The entire thing took about 45 minutes from start to finish, and the bacon produced an outrageous amount of flavor.
It is also packed with quite a few veggies too. A few more than I would like, but the soup ended up being so incredible that I slurped up every last drop. Sometimes veggies are worth it. Not often, but sometimes. Almost always when bacon is involved.

Chickpea Chicken Soup I howsweeteats.com

If you have chicken on hand, it is a big one-pot meal. Those are the best, aren’t they? Packed with protein and fiber too. And it’s another non-boring chicken dish! It really doesn’t get much better than this.

Chickpea Chicken Soup I howsweeteats.com

Chickpea Chicken Soup I howsweeteats.com

Chickpea Chicken Soup I howsweeteats.com

I didn’t have high expectations for this soup… in fact, I didn’t really have any expectations. I figured it would be an interesting experiment and a great way to use up the vegetables I had before they went to see the light in my crisper drawer. I certainly wasn’t expecting layers of flavor. I added the bacon to ensure that I would actually eat the soup, but I had no idea the magic that it would work.
Mr. How Sweet was shocked too. He had this soup late last night after he ate more food than humanly possible. He was still hungry. I live with a human garbage disposal.

Chickpea Chicken Soup I howsweeteats.com

You can easily make this a vegetarian dish by leaving out the bacon, using olive oil for the bacon grease, skipping the chicken and using vegetable stock. Of course you would be missing out on tons of delicious (bacon!) flavor, but I’m confident that a few more spices could do the trick.
I was actually impressed at how fabulous the chickpeas tasted once added to the onion, pepper, spinach and mushroom mixture. I may eat that alone for lunch one day.

Chickpea Chicken Soup I howsweeteats.com

And I really can’t think of one single way to make this soup better.

But a little garnish of cheese can’t hurt.

Chickpea Chicken Soup I howsweeteats.com

I’m guessing that it is going to taste even better today, when all the flavors have married. Soup for breakfast anyone?

Chickpea Chicken Soup I howsweeteats.com
Chickpea Chicken Soup

serves approximately 6-8, depending on your serving sizes

4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 red pepper, chopped

1 cup mushrooms, roughly chopped

2 cups raw spinach

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon cumin

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1 cup chopped carrots

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 25-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

24 ounces low-sodium chicken stock

Preheat a large pot on medium heat. Add chopped bacon and fry until brown and crispy. While bacon is frying, chop vegetables and prep chicken. You have 3 options for the chicken – you can either bake it while the bacon + veggies are sauteing, you can pan-fry it while the bacon + veggies are sauteing, or you can use pre-made/leftover shredded chicken in the soup. Either way, take the time while the bacon is frying to get the chicken ready.

Once bacon is done, remove and drain on a paper towel. Keeping heat on medium, add onions, mushrooms and peppers to bacon grease and saute until soft, about 5-8 minutes. Add garlic, spinach, paprika and cumin and stir for 60 seconds. Turn heat down to low and add chickpeas, celery, carrots and chicken. Pour in chicken stock and simmer for 30 minutes.

Right before serving, add bacon back into soup. Garnish with parmesan cheese and serve with toast if desired. Season with salt and pepper if needed. I found I needed no extra salt.
Chickpea Chicken Soup I howsweeteats.com

If you make one dish this week, this has to be it. You could even sub turkey if you have the leftovers. I can’t though. Turkey is Mr. How Sweet’s appetizer.
I wish I was joking.

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108 Responses to “Chickpea Chicken Soup.”

  1. #
    Tessa — November 30, 2010 @ 3:01 am

    Wow! This looks great. I’m in with Mr. How Sweet. I’ve already eaten, but I want to make this now!


  2. #
    Maria — November 30, 2010 @ 4:11 am

    Love the addition of chickpeas! Great photos too!


  3. #
    Debbi Does Dinner Healthy — November 30, 2010 @ 1:27 pm

    I’m going to make this next week with turkey leftovers! It’s going on my menu right now! Thanks!


  4. #
    Diane — November 30, 2010 @ 3:22 pm

    I can just picture my hubby devouring this soup. I think I’ll try it. The weather’s perfect for a hearty dish, that’s for sure.


  5. #
    the chirpy bird — November 30, 2010 @ 4:57 pm

    I just blacked out. I’m making this this week. for sure. Holy heck you’re speaking my language girlfriend :)
    xox tash


  6. #
    Stephanie — November 30, 2010 @ 6:55 pm

    There are just some days when I read your recipe and go straight to the store after work to get the things to make it (like when you told readers they MUST go straight home to make your chicken enchilada lasagna goodness? Well, I took your instruction literally). Yesterday was another one of those days and BOY AM I GLAD! Such a delicious soup and fast and easy! I used half your called amount of chickpeas, but added in a cubed sweet potato for a yummy twist. Paired with Grilled Gruyere Cheese sandwiches, my hubby said “Best soup and sandwhich I’ve ever had, hands down!”


    • Jessica — November 30th, 2010 @ 7:35 pm

      So glad you liked it! I want a grilled gruyere sandwich.


  7. #
    Mackenzie@The Caramel Cookie — November 30, 2010 @ 7:49 pm

    This soup sounds so hearty and delicious!


  8. #
    Suzanne @ Window On The Prairie — December 1, 2010 @ 1:13 am

    If that chicken soup doesn’t drive away a cold, nothing will.


  9. #
    Lisa @ Dishes of Mrs. Fish — December 1, 2010 @ 4:22 am

    Yum! I can’t wait to make this!


  10. #
    Katie @ cozydelicious — December 2, 2010 @ 1:39 am

    Yum! I love a good hearty soup. This looks just perfect, since I’m a huge chick pea fan. I’ll put them in anything!


  11. #
    Brittany — December 2, 2010 @ 10:12 am

    What a nourishing and satisfying dish this would be. It would be welcome at our dinner table, for sure.


  12. #
    Kristen — December 6, 2010 @ 2:46 am

    I made this soup today – soooooo good! Look forward to eating it for lunch tomorrow and a couple more meals this week!


  13. #
    jessica — December 6, 2010 @ 8:03 pm

    Just made your soup and love it! Thanks for the great recipe!


  14. #
    Jessica — December 7, 2010 @ 2:46 pm

    Delish! I made this for dinner last night and can’t wait for leftovers for lunch today. I realized, while the soup was simmering, that I wasn’t sure when to add the spinach. I looked at pics from the post and noticed it should have been sauteed with the other veggies. I just threw it in the pot at that point, and it worked out perfectly. Tonight, I’m making Hot Cocoa Cookies for my boss’s birthday tomorrow so it’s definitely a How Sweet week in our house! Thanks for all the great recipes.


  15. #
    Debbi Does Dinner Healthy — December 8, 2010 @ 1:17 am

    I made this soup tonight and it was delicious! 230 calories per cup and it was super filling! The only change I made was I didn’t add mushrooms. Thanks for an awesome recipe! I’ll be making it again for sure! I’ll post it on my blog in a few weeks giving credit to you, thanks!


    • Jessica — December 8th, 2010 @ 1:18 am

      So glad you liked it! And thanks for the nutritional info!


  16. #
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — December 9, 2010 @ 1:57 am

    Oh wow… This soup looks fabulous. Bookmarking it for later this week. I could use a nice bowl of soup with all of this cold and windy weather!


  17. #
    Lexie — December 9, 2010 @ 1:58 am

    I found your blog by chance today… and made this soup tonight! So yummy!! My husband loved it, too. THanks for the new recipe :) ps. love your writing!


    • Jessica — December 9th, 2010 @ 2:02 am

      So glad you liked the soup and thanks for the compliment! :)


  18. #
    Kristen K! — January 12, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

    I found and made this soup yesterday (though I read your blog all of the time). My out of town, bacon lusting, Jewish boyfriend was seething with envy! Lucky for him I’m the sharing shiksa that I am… I was totally going on and on about it to him as I was eating it though. Superb!!!

    This will go into the rotation for sure :)

    I’m from Louisiana and I look for any excuse to use bacon grease!!

    Love your blog!



  19. #
    sylvia — January 29, 2011 @ 2:43 am

    i added cayenne pepper to mine to give it a little kick and it helps boost my metabolism AND it tastes great. definitely going to make this soup again!


  20. #
    Juliann — March 1, 2011 @ 11:23 pm

    I tried this recipe with 2 changes
    1-I used pancetta instead of bacon. I can get a few slices from the deli instead of a whole packet of bacon. I can appreciate ones love of bacon but since I am trying to reduce my size by 30 more post baby pounds, if I see the bacon, I will eat the bacon. So 3 slices of pancetta did the trick
    and for change #2…..the pancetta sounded the smoke alarm in my house because once it starts to smoke, its smokes FAST and I couldnt get it out of the pan fast enough. Alarm company calling, kids running around, me trying to figure out how to turn it off since I never in my life set the thing off!
    Quite a dramatic way to make dinner
    All that aside it is really a delicious soup. I made myself a note NOT to start a smoke fire next time.


  21. #
    John Slater — October 6, 2011 @ 11:35 pm

    Oh, sweet chicken soup! I’m literally drooling. Even without the soup, it still looks tempting.

    And I love the fact that it’s rich in fiber and protein. I’m having my own weight loss wars with my family and we’re scouring the internet for healthy meals. Thanks for the ingredients. Will absolutely try it.


  22. #
    Tanvee — November 22, 2011 @ 9:22 am

    Mmmm I made this for dinner last night and it was DIVINE. I was feeling cold and whiny and cranky because all the wonderfully brain stimulating shows (read: Vampire Diaries!!!!!) are on hold until January. So obviously the only thing to do was to wash away my sorrows in a large bowl of this deliciousness. *deep bow*


  23. #
    Michele — December 25, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

    mmmmaaagggghhhh sounds super good. wondering if the chickpeas could be replaced with cannelinis cause that’s all i have at the moment…
    we’ll see :D !! <3


  24. #
    Sara — March 5, 2012 @ 6:53 pm

    By far my favorite soup ever!!! I made a huge pot and I doubt it will go past lunch tomorrow. This is the perfect *healthy* comfort food


  25. #
    jos — January 17, 2014 @ 4:09 am

    Why not use dry chick peas soaked overnight, and make your own stock (made from bones and skin boiled in water) rather than pretend the purchased one is better?



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