Kale and Chickpea Soup

And now, because it’s the last week before the market opens and possibilities will soon abound, let’s have just one more go around with…kale!

This soup is lightly adapted from Franny’s Simple Seasonal Italian, a book that followed me home from Powell’s and appeared to have many solid Italian selections that align with our available veggies. (A friend who locally haunts the restaurant has confirmed that the restaurant is indeed a winner.) Easy and frugal, this soup is one of those magical recipes that makes something wonderful out of not much. I love that you use the chickpea water instead of stock, and I think the technique of using the food processor is a really unique way to change the texture of the kale in a soup. I’m dreaming of future pizza potlucks with this soup on the side.


Ckale chickpea souphickpea and Kale Soup

about 8 hearty bowls

2 cups dried chickpeas

1 carrot, peeled and quartered
1 stalk of celery, quartered
1 onion, quartered
3 garlic cloves, peeled
5 strips of lemon peel
1 sprig of rosemary
3 sprigs of thyme
1 tbls. kosher salt
1 cup of olive oil

3 tbls. olive oil
4 additional garlic cloves
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 large bunches of kale

  1. The night before you want to make the soup (or 8 hours ahead of time), soak chickpeas in a large bowl full of water.
  2. herb sachetUsing an empty tea bag or a scrap of cheesecloth, create a secure bundle that contains the carrot, celery, onion, garlic, lemon peel, and herbs.
  3. Add the bundle, soaked chickpeas, 3 1/2 quarts of water, salt, and 1 cup of oil to your soup pot. Bring to a boil over high, then reduce to low and simmer for about 1 hour. (Taste a chickpea to test that it’s done.)
  4. Near the end of the hour, prepare your kale. Remove ribs and coarsely chop.
  5. In a medium skillet, heat 3 tbls. olive oil over medium-low. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and stir once. Add kale. Cook for about 3 minutes.
  6. When the chickpeas are done, add the kale garlic mixture, 2 cups of the chickpeas, and 1 cup of the cooking liquid to the food processor. Pulse until the chickpeas are smooth and the kale looks finely chopped.
  7. Add this puree back into your soup. Season with salt and pepper, and heat until hot.
  8. If you like, finish each bowl with a little lemon juice, olive oil, and/or Parmesan.


  • Reheats well!
  • The first time I made this soup, the kale I used had a purple tint to it and resulted in the interesting coloring that you see in the photo.