Chickpea, Spinach, and Brown Rice Soup

Soup season lives on, and to elevate the endeavor, in February we start to see some early spring treats, such as spinach, leeks, fennel, parsley, and broccolini. These healthy additions up-level your soup game. If you have a local farm market or some local produce in your grocery store, grab a bunch of fresh spinach or any of the above and a fresh loaf of focaccia or a baguette for dunking.

Italian dishes use a few high-quality ingredients, and many soups or sauces begin with the flavor base or sofrito. For this soup, the flavor base begins with carrots, celery, and a good olive oil, and then we build from there.

Is there a farm market near you?

The website, Local Harvest, will let you find farmer’s markets, CSA, U-Pick, Farmstands near you.

Make your own supercharged vegetable broth

You may use packaged vegetable broth or bullion cubes, but to add a wallop of flavor and nutrition, make this easy broth with dried mushrooms, seaweed, carrots, celery, ginger, parsley, and any aromatic vegetables that are ready to be eaten or have been lurking around the back of the produce drawer. I have a ziplock bag in my freezer where I will put parsley stems, onion skins, kale ribs, celery tops, any leftover scraps or discards from my cooking. Add to homemade vegetable broth.

Bonus flavor boost – Lemon Parsley Sauce!

Make a simple sauce with a handful of freshly chopped Italian parsley, the juice of two lemons, 4 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Whisk everything together and use on bruschetta, on salads, or on this Chickpea, Spinach, and Brown Rice Soup.

Chickpea, Spinach, and Rice Soup

Chickpea, Spinach, and Brown Rice Soup

Easy, fast, and super nutritious. Serve with toasted bruschetta with lemon, parsley sauce.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish, Soup, soup course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6


Chickpea, Spinach, and Brown Rice Soup

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 15-ounce can cooked chickpeas, drained (or 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt

Lemon Parsley Sauce

  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp. salt


  • In a large soup pot, heat the 4 Tbsp. olive oil and add the carrots, celery, and 1 tsp. salt. Stir and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat, until vegetables begin to soften.
  • Add the spinach, stir and cook 2-3 minutes until it just begins to wilt.
  • Add the broth and the chickpeas and stir well. Partially cover, bring to a gentle simmer, and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small jar, add the parsley, lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil. Whisk and set aside.
  • Stir in the cooked rice into the soup, stir and serve. Add a dollop of the lemon parsley sauce and a few hunks of toasted focaccia bread.


Use cooked rice for this recipe. Why? Because if uncooked rice is added to the broth, the rice will soak up too much of the broth and become soggy. By precooking the rice, it keeps its integrity and flavor. 
A great use for leftover rice.
I like to use brown rice for this soup because of the full-bodied texture. Wild rice is another good option.
Buon appetito!

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2 thoughts

    1. Hi Emma,
      So glad you like the variety of vegetables! I love this soup, too. I love the combination of chickpeas and veggies. Ciao! Thanks so much for your feedback.

Your comments are always welcome!