James Carrier Photo by: James Carrier

Garbanzo and Watercress Soup

Notes: Bright green watercress adds a peppery bite to this simple garbanzo soup. For a vegetarian dish, use vegetable broth. Prepare through step 4 up to 1 day ahead; cover garbanzo mixture and watercress separately and chill. Reheat garbanzo mixture and continue.

Sunset APRIL 2001

  • Yield: Makes about 3 quarts; 8 servings


  • 1 onion (3/4 lb.)
  • 2 carrots (1/2 lb. total)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cans (15 oz. each) reduced-sodium garbanzos
  • 2 quarts fat-skimmed chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 pound watercress
  • Salt and pepper


1. Peel and chop onion, carrots, and garlic. In a 4- to 5-quart nonstick pan over high heat, stir vegetables in olive oil until onion is limp, 4 to 5 minutes.

2. Drain and rinse garbanzos. Add garbanzos and broth to pan. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer until carrots are tender when pierced, 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, remove and discard any yellow or wilted leaves from watercress; rinse and drain watercress. Pluck off about 2 cups tender sprigs (about 3 in. long). Chop enough remaining watercress, including stems, to make about 1/2 cup; reserve remainder for another use or discard.

4. Working in batches, whirl all but 4 1/2 cups garbanzo mixture in a blender until smooth, holding lid down with a towel. Return purée to pan with remaining garbanzo mixture.

5. Stir often over high heat until boiling; add watercress sprigs and chopped watercress and stir until wilted, about 30 seconds. Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into bowls.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 201
  • Calories from fat: 14%
  • Protein: 19g
  • Fat: 3.2g
  • Saturated fat: 0.1g
  • Carbohydrate: 36g
  • Fiber: 13g
  • Sodium: 470mg
  • Cholesterol: 0.0mg

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Garbanzo and Watercress Soup recipe