Garbanzo Bean Soup Recipe – Costa Rica

chicken soup with garbanzo beans, carrots and white rice

This savory garbanzo bean soup is packed with protein and fiber- and traditionally Costa Rican! With ingredients such as shredded chicken, tomato, carrots and chickpeas, this soup is a winner for family dinner! 

bowl of chicken garbanzo bean soup with dish of white rice

chicken soup with garbanzo beans, carrots and white rice

About Costa Rican Garbanzo Bean Soup

This soup is a super popular dish in Costa Rica- but you will almost never find it on a menu. It’s one of those recipes people make at home, but don’t go out to eat and crave. 

That’s probably because it’s super simple to make from scratch, and can be reheated for several rounds of meals. It’s a relatively inexpensive recipe if you are feeding your family on a budget, and it’s easy to feed a crowd. 

When we lived in Costa Rica, we often made this recipe on rainy days- and now we often make it in Colorado on snowy days. I also often make a big batch of it on Sunday and eat it for lunch every day of the week because it reheats so nicely- I’d even say it gets more delicious with age!

Related post: Big List Of Delicious Recipes Served With White Rice

chicken and tomato soup with garbanzo beans and white rice

Garbanzo Bean Soup Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb shredded chicken breast
  • 1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium white or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 5 C chicken broth (canned or from the shredded chicken recipe above)
  • 1TB salt
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 TB butter or olive oil
  • 2 cans garbanzo beans, undrained
  • 1 can diced tomato
  • 2 carrots, diced (optional)

Instructions:

In a large stockpot, either cook the bacon and remove leaving the bacon grease for your sofrito, or heat the butter or olive oil.

Add onion, red pepper, and garlic and cook until softened. Add the chicken, one cup of broth, and the salt and bring to simmer.

In a blender, add the can of tomatoes, one cup of chicken broth, and the ketchup.  Blend until smooth and add to the pan with the sofrito and chicken.

Next you will add one can of undrained garbanzos and the optional carrots to the pot and stir. Bring back to a simmer. At this point, you can add drained garbanzos and chicken broth until you get the consistency of broth that you desire. For me, I like to have a lot of chickpeas and a pretty brothy soup. Add salt to taste, and bring to a boil on medium-high, then cook, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes to let the flavors really blend.

I usually add the cilantro about 5 minutes before serving, or you can garnish the soup with fresh cilantro on top. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

This soup is traditionally served in a deep bowl with white rice on the bottom and covered with soup. I like to forgo the rice and eat with tortilla chips and avocado slices. ¡Buen provecho!

Substitutions

You can substitute boxed chicken broth for homemade. You can also just use a rotisserie chicken and shred up the meat instead of cooking a whole chicken or preparing shredded chicken breasts.

Some recipes substitute bacon grease for the olive oil, and then add chunks of bacon into the soup.

Finally- you can omit the ketchup and just use two cans of tomatoes.

If you aren’t a fan of garbanzo beans, you could also make this with white beans, like Great Northern.

Variations

You can make this recipe in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker, I have the recipe here- Instant Pot Chicken Garbanzo Soup For this recipe you can cook the beans from dry and the chicken from raw all in the same pot in 20 minutes. Quite attractive. 

I also make this recipe often using all canned ingredients. I just keep everything in the pantry and put in the slow cooker on the days I am super busy – recipe here: Slow Cooker Chicken Garbanzo Soup Recipe

This is also a great vegan soup if you omit the chicken and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

costa rican garbanzo soup with chicken and tomato, spoon, and cooked white rice

Serving Suggestions

This recipe is generally served alongside Costa Rican white rice. I like to eat it with some tortilla chips too. 

It’s awesome to cut ripe avocado into cubes or slices and put them in the soup right before you serve it. My husband adds hot pepper flakes or Cholula to his, and I love to sprinkle mine with shredded mozzarella cheese.

Related recipes:

bowl of garbanzo bean soup

FAQ

Can I make this recipe ahead? – You can! I think it keeps well in the refrigerator for about 3 days.

What is the best way to reheat the soup? – If you manage to have leftovers, then I like to reheat stovetop until just simmering. 

Can I use dry beans?– For this recipe, you can, but I would cook them first according to the directions here (just substitute the garbanzos for black beans)- Costa Rican Style Slow Cooker Black Beans Recipe.

Printable Recipe

Yield: 6 servings

Costa Rican Garbanzo Bean Soup Recipe

Costa Rican Garbanzo Bean Soup Recipe

This savory garbanzo bean soup is packed with protein and fiber- and traditionally Costa Rican! With ingredients such as shredded chicken, tomato, carrots and chickpeas, this soup is a winner for family dinner! 

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb shredded chicken breast (instructions here)
  • 1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium white or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 5 C chicken broth (canned or from the shredded chicken recipe above)
  • 1TB salt
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 TB butter or olive oil
  • 2 cans garbanzo beans, undrained
  • 1 can diced tomato
  • 2 carrots, diced (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large stockpot, either cook the bacon and remove leaving the bacon grease for your sofrito, or heat the butter or olive oil.
  2. Add onion, red pepper, and garlic and cook until softened. Add the chicken, one cup of broth, and the salt and bring to simmer.
  3. In a blender, add the can of tomatoes, one cup of chicken broth, and the ketchup.  Blend until smooth and add to the pan with the sofrito and chicken.
  4. Next you will add one can of undrained garbanzos and the optional carrots to the pot and stir. Bring back to a simmer. At this point, you can add drained garbanzos and chicken broth until you get the consistency of broth that you desire. For me, I like to have a lot of chickpeas and a pretty brothy soup. Add salt to taste, and bring to a boil on medium-high, then cook, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes to let the flavors really blend.
  5. I usually add the cilantro about 5 minutes before serving, or you can garnish the soup with fresh cilantro on top. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. This soup is traditionally served in a deep bowl with white rice on the bottom and covered with soup. I like to forgo the rice and eat with tortilla chips and avocado slices. ¡Buen provecho!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 296Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 2034mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 26g
Please double-check this information with your preferred nutrition calculator.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Claudia Lamascolo
    April 1, 2020 at 7:20 am

    What a delicious comforting bowl of soup we loved it cant wait to make it again!

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