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Greek chickpea soup (revithosoupa) recipe

Greek chickpea soup (revithosoupa) recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Soup
  • Bean and lentil soup

This chickpea soup is typical from Crete, which I have learned from my host Despina on holiday. I have adapted the recipe and use less oil (see tip).

London, England, UK

2 people made this

IngredientsServes: 2

  • 350g dried chickpeas or 2 tins chickpeas
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, or as needed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 lemons, juice only
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • salt and pepper to taste

MethodPrep:5min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:25min

  1. Soak dried chickpeas overnight; next day, drain and rinse.
  2. In a saucepan gently brown off the onions with a little of the oil.
  3. Add the chickpeas and cover with hot water to about 25mm above them; simmer for 60 minutes. Or alternatively, add the 2 tins of chickpeas to saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes with enough water just to cover.
  4. Add olive oil and half the parsley.
  5. Mix the lemon juice with the flour to a paste and add to the saucepan to thicken soup, stir regulary to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  6. Add salt and pepper.
  7. Sprinkle rest of the parsley on top and serve with crusty bread.


I usually use dried chickpeas and cook them in the pressure cooker for 20 minutes. But its such a comforting dish, when I am short in time, I do use tins of chickpeas, which I always have in the cupboard.


The original Cretan recipe ask for 150ml of good extra virgin olive oil, which makes the soup velvety smooth.Cretans have the lowest heart disease rate in the world, which scientists put down to lots of fruit and veg, plenty of pulses and good extra virgin olive oil! Look it up, its true. I have reduced the olive oil for our western diet reasons and still find the soup delicious. Try both ways, you will taste the difference, but no decrease in the quality.

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Vegan Greek Chickpea Soup-Revithosoupa

Being an Indian, I naturally am inclined to hot and spicy food. I love the cuisines in which a lot of chilies are used like Korean, Mexican, and Malaysian.

Even for an average Indian, my tolerance for heat in food is quite high. I rarely find any food marked as extra spicy on the menu card to be spicy enough for me.

Until I started my food voyage, I never enjoyed a savory dish without extra chilies in it.

However, now that I have started exploring more cuisines, I have become more adaptable to different flavors and learned to enjoy the simplest and mildest dishes.

Strangely, despite having almost no trace of heat in them, some of the Iranian dishes like Fesenjan and Greek dishes like Greek Watermelon Salad, Greek Yogurt dip are now on my list of favorite dishes.

Though I still love hot and spicy food, I equally enjoy milder flavors.

Today’s recipe- Greek Chickpea soup, known as Revithiosoupa is one such recipe which is one of the most comforting recipes I have ever tasted, created by using the simplest of ingredients.

Note: Never use canned chickpeas to make this recipe, just like Indians, Greeks also soak dry chickpeas and then cook them to make their recipes. Though time-consuming, the level of flavors in dishes prepared using dry chickpeas can never be reached if you use canned ones.

Just soak your bread in this creamy chickpea soup with olive oil and you will be in heaven. A real comfort food.

Revithosoupa: Greek Chickpea Soup

Sauté the onion and garlic in two tablespoons (1 oz.) of olive oil over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and chickpeas and simmer for one hour, uncovered. Add lemon juice and olive oil and puree with a handheld blender, liquid blender or food processor.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour into serving bowls and garnish with whole chickpeas and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

To store: Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to one week.

  • Extra virgin olive oil will bring more depth and flavor to this soup, so use it throughout the recipe.
  • For a healthy meal, serve with salad or pita sandwich.
  • Other garnish ideas include fresh herbs like oregano and parsley, paprika, microgreens – be creative.
  • If using dried chickpeas, place them in a bowl of water and soak overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Whether you’re using canned or dried chickpeas, drain and rinse the beans before using.
  • For a vegetarian option, use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.

How to Cook and Prepare Chickpeas

Cooking with dry chickpeas requires some planning, make sure they are soaked for at least 12 hours -not just overnight, otherwise they will take forever to boil and for this recipe we want them a bit mushy so that may take even longer. Here in Greece there are peeled dry chickpeas available so you can avoid the peeling, otherwise you can follow this method:

After they have soaked, rinse them and place them in a pot with some water. Once the water comes to a boil rinse the chickpeas again and then rub with your hands to remove the skin.

If you are using canned chickpeas, you will need less boiling time at about 30 minutes (see recipe below), but cooking slowly from dry beans results in that creamy texture. *Clarification/correction: By “creamy” I mean that the beans should be very soft, but not like a creamy, pureed soup.


Complex, nutty flavor, and buttery almost creamy texture is what distinguishes this Greek chickpea soup from others. Oregano and lemon are the ingredients that make that recipe so delightful and special. They are the perfect combo and in Greece we profoundly love and use both of them in abundance.

Let’s dive into some tips that will make your chickpea soup even better.

First of all you don’t have to sauté anything. Just throw all the ingredients into the pot and you are done. No kidding. That’s it! Keep only the salt and olive oil AT THE END. Salt slows the softening procedure so it should be added after the chickpeas have softened. Olive oil gets added at the end as well because we don’t want the heat to degrade its healthy properties. Additionally, its flavor is exquisite when it is fresh.

Uncooked chickpeas in the pot

A perfect chickpea soup needs time and love. Important! Simmer over medium-low heat because that’s how the chickpeas will be evenly cooked and flavors will be mixed. A rolling boil will make the outsides mushy and the insides undercooked.

The soup took its first boil and it’s time to low the heat for slow simmering.

The chickpeas are soft enough after 50 minutes

Now let’s play with the consistency and make this Greek chickpea soup delightfully creamy. Thicken up your soup either with one tablespoon of flour or blend 1-2 ladle(s) of cooked chickpeas in food processor. Whatever you use is more than enough to add that creamy, extra comforting feeling we usually enjoy in dishes like this.

Add chickpea broth in the lemon flour mixture

Your Greek Chickpea Soup is ready!

Pressure-Cooker Greek Chickpea Soup (revithosoupa)

It was almost a month ago that we hastily harvested veggies from the main garden due to heavy snowstorms that were expected. And we ended up with cabbages, cauliflowers, and broccolis stacked in our patio. Some of the cauliflowers were cut into pieces and made their way to the freezer for future use. The broccolis were steamed and turned into a side for some grilled chicken and fish and the cabbages… well we still try to consume as much as we can in salads and stir fries. Still have some in the fridge. lol

The snowstorm was rather severe. It lasted for two days and it took another two of full sunshine and higher temperatures to melt most of the snow. But the air was completely cold. As we say in Greece “sunshine with teeth” (helios me dontia). Well at least at the coastline where we live.
We liked it though. It was different and quite magical as a sight since we are not used of snowfalls so close to the sea. We became silly and could not concentrate in our works. We spent two days watching outside the windows and taking pictures of this rather “rare phenomenon” :)

Cold days like these are perfect for hot, hearty, and comforting food. Especially soups! It was one of these days that we made my mom’s (Irene) chickpea soup (revithosoupa) in the pressure cooker. My mother loves her pressure cooker. I always remember her cooking in it, especially legumes and beef. And this soup is one of her signature dishes. It is a dear recipe to me (Panos loves it too) and we really wanted to share it with you for a long time now.

Cooking with a pressure cooker

Well to be honest we are not huge fans of the pressure cooker. Probably because the one we have is an old one, quite heavy and not that easy to clean. Plus, we love to interact with the food when cooking it and… you know… we want to be able to move it around anytime we want with our favorite wooden spatulas. Control freaks much? lol

But to be perfectly honest…cooking in a pressure cooker saves time. A lot of time. And the food is cooked properly and carefree. Especially in recipes that are time consuming like cooking beef, or legumes like beans and chickpeas. You can use a pressure cooker for more than beef or legumes for sure. But we mostly use it to cook these two types of ingredients.
Plus, cooking in a pressure cooker saves energy. Which is rather important both for the environment and your wallet. Right?
We know some of you may have an issue with the safety of it all. Well, there is nothing to worry about as long as you follow the instructions of your pressure cooker, close the lid properly and release all the pressure from the cooker once the time of cooking is up before opening the lid. That’s it! Nothing to worry about.

Chickpea soup (revithosoupa) or chickpea stew (revithada)?

Many use the word “revithosoupa” that literally means chickpea soup. Others use the term “revithada” which is more of a chickpea stew.

We believe there is a difference between these two and mostly on the way they are made. The ingredients used are the same but, in the soup, one puts all the ingredients together with water and cooks them in low heat for at least 1 hour and a half. The stew however (revithada) is a traditional way of cooking the chickpeas (revithia) in a sealed ceramic pot (gastra) in the oven, overnight in very low heat. It’s the way the chickpea stew is cooked it in the island of Sifnos for centuries. And it’s a local delicacy. The outcome of this overnight slow cooking is a mind-blowing creamy stew with the aromas of oregano, lemon and olive oil that is worth waiting!

As you well noticed this take time and one needs an oven that is either running on gas or wood. Otherwise, the electricity consumed on making the revithada is over the roof.
If you have a slow cooker (we don’t use them in Greece and are extremely rare) you can give it a try and cook this soup like that. But this chickpea soup recipe we post here is for those who want to taste a delicious and hearty soup for a weekday lunch or weeknight dinner when time is limited. A chickpea soup on fast track!
Along with the white bean soup (fasolada) and the lentil soup (fakes), the chickpea soup (revithosoupa) completes the trinity of the traditional soups with legumes that are considered Greek comfort food.

The recipe

This is a simple recipe with just a few ingredients that we all have in our pantries. This is exactly what makes this soup so dear.
It is made with dry chickpeas (not precooked) that are soaked in water and baking soda overnight. Why baking soda? We use it on chickpeas to help them get more tender while cooking and create a creamier result.

The yellow onions and the addition of the vegetable stock cubes add flavor to this humble and comforting soup.
We used dry oregano as it is the norm for this recipe, but feel free to use fresh if you have some. Also, the amount of lemon juice depends on the lemons you will use. Some lemons are juicier than others. We suggest you go easy on the lemon juice that it’s added towards the end of the cooking time. It totally depends on your liking. Add some and taste before adding all the juice.

This recipe is naturally vegan and perfect for those on lent. But vegan or not, this soup is so delicious that you will not miss the meat. Trust us! Especially if you serve it with good quality Kalamata olives and fresh crusty bread.
Shall we proceed to the kitchen and make this hearty, healthy soup?

Opaaaa!! Revithosoupa (Greek Chickpea soup)

Revithosoupa, (pr. reh-vee-THO-sou-pah), is a very simple, vegan Greek, healthy and nutritious chickpea soup made with a few simple ingredients.

As there is not much to say about revithosoupa, which is a simple dish, before I tell you how I make it, let&rsquos talk a little about the word &ldquoOpaaa!!&rdquo.

I am taking this opportunity because the song which has been voted for the Eurovision song contest is called &ldquoOPA&rdquo. It&rsquos an ethnic song and although it&rsquos not bad I would have preferred the other ethnic song by Manos Pyrovolakis.

I don&rsquot really care about this contest but the reason I am mentioning this is to explain what the word &ldquoOPA&rdquo means. I am sure only a few Greeks know the real meaning of the word and it&rsquos not just an exclamation when we dance.

The word &ldquoOpa&rdquo derives from the ancient word &eta &omicron&psi, &tau&eta&sigmaf &omicron&piό&sigmaf (pronounced ops genitive case op-OS), and this does not only mean eyes, vision, appearance etc. Some examples of words known to English speaking people are Cyclops (having one round eye), Europe (having beautiful big eyes), metope (in arch. between two holes (eyes) ) and the same word is used in Greek for the forehead, but also means &ldquovoice&rdquo as in speaking but also in singing. For those of you speaking Greek, you may find a lot of interesting information here.

All Greek words have a meaning because they are descriptive. One of the nine muses was Kalliopi, &Kappa&alpha&lambda&lambda&iota-ό&pi&eta (έ&chi&omicron&upsilon&sigma&alpha &kappa&alpha&lambdaή&nu ό&pi&alpha), and her name means &ldquohaving a good voice&rdquo and of course Kalliopi was the patron of anything having to do with the voice and of course poetry.

Now, back to the recipe. Although it&rsquos spring and the weather is supposed to be warm in Greece, March still has some cold days, so I would like to share this simple but hearty Revithosoupa (chickpea soup), while the weather is still cold.

As I said, although this soup is very simple, with just a few ingredients and has nothing fancy to show in appearance, yet this is what makes Greek cuisine to be delicious getting most of its flavour from the Greek olive oil.

I know that some of you don&rsquot have the time to cook the chickpeas for two hours and although I don&rsquot use canned chickpeas, I think that the soup will still work great if you used canned chickpeas. However, if you have a pressure cooker, you can reduce the time considerably and have the soup ready in half an hour.

If you want a thicker and more creamy soup add a potato as well, which I have included in the recipe.

If you want a velvety soup, you can use an Immersion Hand Blender to do that.

I am sending this recipe to Lisa, of Lisa&rsquos Vegeterian Kitchen, for her event No Croutons Required, in which chickpeas are featured this month.

Recipe Revithosoupa: Greek Chickpea Soup, Vegetarian

I made mild adaptations to the following recipe (namely, the addition of celery, and the halving of the recipe. I also omitted the bay leaf as for me I never seem to taste that particular herb to begin with.) And then I incorporated a couple of thoughts from the second recipe: sautéing the onion, a little less oil, parsley garnish.

While winter still is upon us, I’ve decided to go a bit further with the Greek theme, although I’m now popping around with recipes from around the world, or from my fevered imagination in the interim. I simply love the refreshing qualities of Greek food!

For those who observe it, this soup recipe is also suitable for a Lenten Friday.

Prep Time: 10 minutes (excluding overnight soaking).
Cook Time: 75 minutes.
Rest Time: Until cool enough to consume.
Serves: 2 as the main.
Cuisine: Greek.
Leftovers: Yes. Soup will thicken further – you can always add more water or even a little vegetable broth.

Greek Vegetarian Chickpea Soup

  • 0.75 cups / 150 grams of dried chickpeas. Preferably these should be peeled.
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped.
  • 1 large celery stalk, chopped.
  • Juice of one lemon – don’t use the bottled stuff.
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano.
  • 1/6th cup olive oil. (2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons or 40 mL) Note: I used 2 tablespoons / 30 mL.
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
  • Optional bay leaf.
  • Garnish with parsley.

Strain and rinse several times. If there are skins, remove using your hand, while rinsing.

In a small fry pan, sauté the onion in a minimum of oil until just beginning to brown in places. Set aside.

In your soup pot, add fresh water and the chickpeas. Boil for two-three minutes, and strain with further rinsing. Clean the pot prior to returning the chickpeas. Add enough water to the chickpeas to cover them about 1.5 inches / 4 cm above their surface.

Add onion, celery, oregano, and optional bay leaf, and bring this to a boil, and immediately lower the heat. Simmer for about an hour to 75 minutes if you are indeed using the dried rather than canned chickpeas, and add more water if needed.

Once chickpeas soften, add some salt. I’d start with half a teaspoon sea salt, you can adjust for more later.

In a food processor – or use your stick immersion blender in the “cup” that came with the blender (or a vessel of similar size) – place lemon juice (you can start by adding less than the full amount, if you think this will be too sour a soup), olive oil, and a half to full ladle of the cooked chickpeas. Blend until smooth. If this is too thick, add some chickpea broth. If potentially too thin, add more chickpeas from the soup proper.

Pour this blend slowly back to the cooking pot, stirring gently for a couple of minutes, or until soup thickens to your desire. Turn heat to a very low setting, then adjust seasonings to preference: the rest of the lemon. salt, pepper, oregano… Cook this way until the soup is stable. Remove the bay leaf if using. Serve hot, with garnish.

Greek chickpea soup (revithosoupa) recipe - Recipes

Revithosoupa… Chickpea soup, easy to make, healthy and hearty.

One of the reasons I believe Greek food is among the healthiest cuisines on the planet, is a simple recipe like this… The earthy goodness and nutritional value of this dish makes its own case. For those of you who are vegetarians or for those who are trying to cut back on meat consumption, this dish provides a heart healthy and hearty alternative to more common legume/bean soups.

Canned or dried chickpeas can be used for this recipe. If you are going to be using dried chickpeas, make sure to wash and soak them overnight so as to soften them up and prepare them for cooking. Also, make sure to rinse the soaked chickpeas well before using them (this applies to the canned varieties as well).

1 lb. (½ kg.) of chickpeas
2 finely chopped onions
1 cup (250 ml.) extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. (5 ml.) dried Greek oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
*optional: several strands of Greek saffron

1. Heat oil in a saucepan and sauté onions until soft.
2. Add drained chickpeas, salt, pepper, saffron*, and water to cover chickpeas by about 1 inch (2 ½ cm.). Cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until chickpeas are soft and tender. Note: you may need to add some more water if you have to cook them longer than 2 hours as previously dried chickpeas generally take longer to completely cook through.
3. Serve hot or cold with lemon juice.  

Garnish with chopped parsley and a lemon wedge. 

Can it get any easier than that?!

Sam Sotiropoulos
Greek Gourmand

Copyright © 2008, Sam Sotiropoulos. All Rights Reserved.

Watch the video: Griechische Kichererbsensuppe mit Zitrone - Revithosoupa Rezept - Vegan (January 2022).