It was easily 10 years ago that I came across the recipe that has grown into this soup.  Probably longer, but stopping to count backwards isn’t going to enlighten the recipe.  It was pretty simple: basically a can of garbanzo beans was opened and dumped liquid and all into a saucepan, some stock was added, and a couple of slices of orange peel. Cook it up, season with salt and pepper, remove the peels, serve.

I haven’t complicated it much beyond that, but I’ve tweaked the flavors here and there. Garbanzos practically cry out for rosemary.  Too, garlic and olive oil make everything good.  Lately I’ve started swirling in some greens just before serving. The citrus flavors are very subtle, but also very much there.

I served it with wedges of Savory Olive Cake, which was a heavenly pairing.  Make the soup and the cake at the same time for a completely handmade dinner in under an hour.  That should make everyone happy, including you!

Timesaving hint:  it takes as long to make a double batch is it does a single.  Freeze the leftovers for a genuinely instant dinner.  Because there are always nights when we need to pull a rabbit out of the so to speak hat.  I like to freeze soups & such in ziplock bags.  To make filling a one-person operation, turn the ziplock collar down to hold the bag open.  Set the bag in a smallish mixing bowl.  Ladle the soup in.  Zip it closed.  Lay it flat in the freezer.  When frozen, stack like cordwood.  This makes good use of space if you have just a freezer compartment to your fridge.  Oh, and be sure to label it with a Sharpie ;0)

Serves 2

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced

Olive oil

1/2 pound garbanzo beans, soaked overnight, drained

1 quart chicken or vegetable stock

2 pieces orange peel, 1” wide

2 pieces lemon peel (Meyer if possible), 1/2” wide

4 kale leaves, split, 1/2” slice

Sea or kosher salt to taste

Fresh ground pepper

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Wedges of lemon

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic and rosemary and sauté gently until fragrant.  Add chicken stock and garbanzo beans.  Give the citrus peels a vigorous twist and add them to the soup.  Bring to a simmer and cover pot.  Simmer until stock is fragrant with and flavored delicately by the citrus peels.

Trim the stems from the kale leaves.  Split them in half, then slice the short way into 1/2” ribbons.

Remove pieces of peel.  Add kale, replace the lid, and continue to simmer for 5 more minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add red pepper flakes.

Ladle into bowls.  Serve with a lemon wedge.


About thesolitarycook

I'm a chef, a cook, a teacher, a reader, a writer, a bike-rider, a dog- and cat-woman
This entry was posted in Entrées, RECIPES, Soups, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. I made a pared down version of this for lunch today, was starving came home from an appointment for work and I wanted something hot and quick. I used canned beans, and there was some wonderfully flavorful jus left from my roasted chicken last night already lemon infused (added a peel also) used some micro greens I got from CSA and voila, a hot nutritious lunch in about 30 minutes start to finish. Delicious!

    • Canned beans work just fine, and I use them myself when I’m in a hurry. I’ve used spinach, even endive and escarole, depending on what I have on hand. I’ll bet your chicken jus made it amazing! So glad to have been able to have lunch with you!

  2. Emily says:

    C, This is lovely!! The idea of using escarole sounds divine too, especially with the citrus twist. I’m so happy for you re: the launch of The Solitary Cook!!

  3. Great tip on freezing, never thought of using a ziplock bag. Thats a revelation and will save so much space in the freezer. I wish I had made more than one serving, its all the jus I had. I want to roast another chicken just so I can have that again. It was the best chicken I think I have ever roasted and the jus was so delicious. I loved making the soup with it. Was totally delicious!

    • I shamelessly stole the idea from friends with whom I’ve done a lot of catering. It makes transporting foods to events so much easier, not to mention the clean-up afterwards. I wash and re-use my ziplocks at home. And man, does it stretch freezer space to freeze foods this way. It also makes it really easy to ship stuff to the son & the daughter.

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