Blue zones recipes in Ikaria, Greece, include foods like beans, fennel, wild greens, lemon, olive oil, raw honey, sage and rosemary. This recipe for chickpea soup with lemon and herbs is a great example of a blue zone recipe.

Total cook time: 2 hours, 20 minutes, or 45 minutes if using canned chickpeas • Serves 6

Chickpea Soup with Lemon and Herbs
Chickpea Soup with Lemon and Herbs. Photo by David McLain.


  • 1 pound dried chickpeas, soaked overnight, rinsed and peeled (or four 15-ounce cans low-sodium chickpeas, drained)
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • Salt and pepper
  • Juice of 3 lemons, for serving

How to Make Chickpea Soup with Lemon & Herbs

  1. Place the drained chickpeas in a pot with just enough water to cover, and bring them to a boil.
  2. Remove from the heat, drain, rinse and put them into a clean pot.
  3. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaf, olive oil and enough water to cover the ingredients. Stir to combine.
  4. If using dried chickpeas, bring to a boil and then simmer for about 2 hours, or until chickpeas are soft.
  5. If using canned chickpeas, bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes, adding a few tablespoons of water at a time to thin the soup as needed.
  6. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve with generous drizzles of lemon juice and olive oil

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