Sopa de Garbanzo (Mexican Chickpea Soup) #SoupWeek

Traditional Mexican garbanzo soup made with smoked pork chops, onion, tomato, fresh jalapeño, carrots, and spinach.

Sopa de Garbanzos -

Sopa de Garbanzo (Mexican Chickpea Soup) is another of my childhood favorite soups. My recipe is a combination of both my grandfather's recipe and my suegra's (mother-in-law). Pappy loved making bean soups, and garbanzos were among his favorites. He always made his Sopa de Garbanzo in the crockpot with a couple of patitas de puerco (pig's feet) because he loved the flavor they added. I wasn't a big fan of pig's feet back then (and I'm still not), but Pappy was right in that they added a ton of flavor to the broth. To serve his soup Pappy would garnish it with chopped onion and tomato, and a little crushed oregano. I loved it and it was always a special treat when he made it.

My mother-in-law's recipe was similar to Pappy's in that she too added chopped onion and tomato, but she'd saute them in oil before adding the cooked garbanzos and broth. And she'd add a sprig of fresh oregano to the broth while it simmered. But that's where the similarities ended. My suegra did not add pig's feet, AND she peeled the skins off the garbanzos after they had cooked. I never really minded whether or not the garbanzos were peeled, but after trying my suegra's garbanzo soup I changed my mind. It's a little extra work, but well worth the effort.

Over the years I've developed my own Sopa de Garbanzo that combines both Pappy's and my suegra's recipes, while also adding my own spin with the spinach, carrots, and using smoked pork chops in place of the pig's feet Pappy used. This Mexican chickpea soup is a hearty and delicious soup that the whole family can enjoy. And if you choose to peel the skins off the garbanzos, it's a fun job that the kiddies love to help with.

Sopa de Garbanzos 
(Mexican Chickpea Soup)


  • 3 cups dried garbanzos
  • 8 to 10 cups water
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
  • 1 lb. boneless smoked pork chops, cut in bite-size pieces 
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced thinly 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional) 
  • 3 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt 
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped 

Place dried garbanzos in a large bowl. Fill bowl with enough cold water to cover the garbanzos by several inches. Cover with a kitchen towel and let soak overnight. In the morning drain the garbanzos. Place the soaked garbanzos in a medium saucepan with 8 cups of the water. Bring garbanzos to a boil over high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low, adding more water if necessary. Let garbanzos simmer for about 90 minutes; season generously with salt. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Transfer the cooked garbanzos to a colander with a slotted spoon, reserving the broth they were cooked in. Rinse garbanzos with cold water and remove skins, if desired.

Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a Dutch oven or 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the smoked pork chops until golden. Stir in the onions, carrots, garlic, and jalapeño. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, cooked garbanzos, chicken broth, water, and 4 cups of the bean broth. Season with salt, black pepper, and oregano. Cover and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 30 to 40 minutes; season with salt, if necessary. Remove from heat and stir in spinach. Enjoy!

Receta en español

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