Lemony Greek Chickpea Soup

4.97 from 170 votes
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Lemony Greek Chickpea Soup with orzo and fresh vegetables in a fragrant, silky broth. This vibrant vegetarian soup, inspired by Avgolemono Soup, is protein-packed and ready in just over 30 minutes. Chickpea and vegetable soup in a gold bowl topped with fresh dill and lemon

Why You’ll Love this Greek Chickpea Soup

The better question is, what’s NOT to love about this soup? It’s light, bright, and packed with protein and whole grains. It will fill and warm you to the core, without weighing you down, and leftovers are just as satisfying the next day.

It’s the type of nourishing midday meal I crave on a busy weekday, yet it’s hearty enough to serve for dinner with a side of crusty bread. A handful of fresh dill makes the soup herbaceous and lively, and a generous squeeze of lemon juice wakes up the flavors to make the soup almost invigorating

This soup was inspired by Avgolemono Soup. Avgolemono (“Ahvo-lemono”) refers to the tasty Greek sauce made of whisked eggs, lots of lemon, and warm broth. In addition to using avoglemono sauce in soup, Greek cooks also use it to infuse richness and bright notes of lemon to chicken, vegetables, and even dolmades. 

Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions:Recipe ingredients in separate bowls with teal labels

  • Chickpeas: You need two cans of chickpeas, which add a one-two punch of plant protein and fiber to this soup.
  • Orzo: Use either regular or whole-wheat orzo, which are both found in the pasta aisle. Just like any other pasta shape, dry orzo will keep for a WHILE in the pantry, so don’t worry about it going to waste. 
  • Aromatics: A classic mirepoix including onion, carrots, and celery create the aromatic foundation of this soup. You can use yellow or sweet onion, or even shallots here. 
  • Broth: You need 8 cups of liquid total, which can be all broth, or half water/half broth if you’re trying to scale back on sodium. However I find that using 8 cups of broth lends the biggest flavor impact.
  • Eggs: Whisked eggs are what create the quintessential silky broth in Avgolemono Soup. However it is quite easy to end up with scrambled eggs instead of a smooth soup if you do not follow proper technique. When eggs are introduced to heat, they will immediately start to solidify, so to avoid this, we need to temper the eggs. All that means is we SLOWLY pour in a good amount of the hot broth into the eggs, while whisking constantly, which brings the eggs up to temperature slowly without scrambling.
  • Lemon: For a double dose of lemon-y goodness, this recipe uses both the lemon peel and juice. Note: it’s important to use the juice of whole lemons, as opposed to the bottled lemon juice. You truly can’t beat the brightness and zing of fresh lemons in Avgolemono Soup.
  • Greens: For a pop of color and extra nutrients, I love stirring in a few handfuls of chopped kale at the end of cooking. Alternatively, you can use spinach, swiss chard, or collard greens. 
  • Dill: Fresh dill makes the soup herbaceous and lively. Just wait to stir it in until right before serving to preserve its flavor and color.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1: Sauté Aromatics

Heat olive oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrots, celery, and lemon peel. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until softened. Onion, carrots, and celery sautéing in a pot

Step 2: Add Broth, Chickpeas, and Orzo

Add broth and bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, add chickpeas, orzo, salt, pepper, and oregano; bring mixture back to a simmer. Simmer soup over medium-high heat, uncovered, for 10 minutes, or until the orzo is al dente. Reduce heat to low. Broth, chickpeas, and orzo being simmered in a blue Dutch oven

Step 3: Prepare Egg Mixture

Place whole eggs, egg yolks, and lemon juice in a large bowl; whisk until combined. While whisking constantly, VERY slowly stream in 3/4 cup of hot broth into egg mixture.

*Note: It’s easy to end up with scrambled eggs if you don’t do this properly. When eggs are introduced to heat, they will immediately start to solidify, so to avoid this, we need to temper the eggs. This is achieved when you SLOWLY pour the hot broth into the eggs, while whisking constantly, which brings the eggs up to temperature without them cooking. Eggs being whisked in a bowl

Step 4: Add Egg Mixture and Greens to Soup

While gently stirring the soup with a wooden spoon or ladle, stream the egg-broth mixture into the pot of soup. Add kale and continue to cook over low heat for 5 minutes, or until the broth is slightly thickened. Remove lemon peel. Kale being stirred into a pot of soup

Step 5: Garnish with Dill and Serve

Lastly, stir fresh dill into soup and taste/adjust seasonings as needed. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with extra fresh dill and cracked black pepper.
Finished soup in a large blue Dutch oven

How to Store and Reheat:

  • To Store: Let the soup come close to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight storage container. Refrigerate soup for up to 4 days. 
  • To Reheat: This soup reheats best stovetop, however you can also nook it in the microwave for convenience. For stovetop reheating, place soup in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until warm. If the soup appears too thick, add an extra splash or broth or water to help rehydrate it. Alternatively, heat individual portions in the microwave, stopping to stir every 30 seconds, until warm. 
  • To Freeze: Transfer completely cooled soup to a freezer-safe, gallon-sized ziptop bag. Lay flat in the freezer, and freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 

What to Serve with Greek Chickpea Soup:

While this soup is satiating enough to enjoy on its own (or simply paired with crusty bread), here are some of my favorite pairings:

Single serving of greek chickpea soup in a gold bowl topped with fresh herbs

  • Dutch Oven: I use my Lodge Enameled 6-qt Dutch Oven for every single homemade soup recipe. It’s a staple piece on my stovetop, and has endless functionality. Lodge is also quite a bit cheaper than Cuisinart, yet just as good quality, in my opinion.
  • Ladle: For transferring the hot broth to the egg mixture, you need a sturdy ladle. This one is dishwasher safe. 
  • Whisk: For whisking the egg mixture, this whisk has a comfortable, sturdy grip and stainless steel wires. 
  • Non-Slip Cutting Board: For the slicing and dicing in this recipe, you need a reliable cutting board. This one is easier and safer than cutting boards without the non-slip feature, and it’s dishwasher safe.

More Healthy Vegetarian Soup Recipes to Try:

Creamy Caramelized Broccoli Soup

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

White Bean Enchilada Soup

Nourishing White Bean and Lemon SoupBowls of chickpea soup with lemon wedge garnishes on the side

If you give this Greek Chickpea Soup a try, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations. I also really appreciate readers taking the time to leave a rating and review! Lastly, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates.

4.97 from 170 votes

Lemony Greek Chickpea Soup

Lemony Greek Chickpea Soup with orzo and fresh vegetables in a fragrant, silky broth. This vibrant vegetarian soup, inspired by Avgolemono Soup, is protein-packed and ready in just over 30 minutes. 
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6

Equipment

  • Large Dutch oven or stock pot

Ingredients  

  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped yellow or sweet onion
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 (2-inch) strips lemon peel, plus 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 quarts (8 cups) lower-sodium vegetable broth (sub chicken broth if not making vegetarian)
  • 2 (15.5-oz.) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup dry orzo pasta (regular or whole-wheat)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 large whole eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
  • 3 handfuls roughly chopped or shredded kale (sub spinach, Swiss Chard, or escarole)
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
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Instructions 

  • Heat oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrots, celery, and lemon peel. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add garlic; cook 1 more minute, until aromatic.
  • Add broth and increase heat to bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, add chickpeas, orzo, salt, pepper, and oregano. Simmer soup over medium-high heat, uncovered, for 10 minutes, or until the orzo is al dente. Reduce heat to low, and remove 3/4 cup hot broth from the soup. Set aside.
  • Place whole eggs, egg yolks, and lemon juice in a large bowl; whisk until combined. While whisking constantly, VERY slowly stream hot broth into egg mixture.
    *Note: It's easy to end up with scrambled eggs if you don't do this properly. When eggs are introduced to heat, they will immediately start to solidify, so to avoid this, you need to temper the eggs. This is achieved when you SLOWLY pour the hot broth into the eggs, while whisking constantly, which brings the eggs up to temperature without scrambling them.
  • While gently stirring the soup with a wooden spoon or ladle, stream the egg-broth mixture back into the pot of soup. Add kale and continue to cook over low heat for 5 minutes, or until the broth is slightly thickened and greens are wilted. Remove lemon peels.
  • Stir in fresh dill and taste/adjust seasonings as needed. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with extra fresh dill, cracked black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.

Notes

To Store: Let the soup come close to room temperature before transferring to an airtight storage container. Refrigerate for up to 4 days. 
To Reheat: This soup reheats best stovetop, however you can also nook it in the microwave for convenience. For stovetop reheating, place soup in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until warm. If the soup appears too thick, add an extra splash or broth or water to help rehydrate it. Alternatively, heat individual portions in the microwave, stopping to stir every 30 seconds, until warm. 
To Freeze: Transfer completely cooled soup to a freezer-safe, gallon-sized ziptop bag. Lay flat in the freezer, and freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1.66cups | Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 890mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 9g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

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134 Comments

  1. Carre says:

    5 stars
    Love this soup! We make it often. I haven’t been brave enough to try the egg slurry so have been using a little heavy cream instead. Very delicious and comforting.

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      So happy you enjoy this one, my friend! Thank you for leaving a review!

  2. Kiia says:

    5 stars
    Wow. 5 stars not enough. Absolutely divine soup.

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      So glad you enjoyed it!! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!