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Escarole and Chickpea Soup with Garlic Toast

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If you’re looking for a healthy and filling vegetarian soup that’s quick, cheap and easy, this Escarole and Chickpea Soup is it.

Escarole and Chickpea Soup with Garlic Toast
Escarole and Chickpea Soup

You’ve been asking me for new soup recipes, so I am delivering! Italian Escarole and Chickpea Soup with Garlic Toast is easy, comforting and healthy, with only 7 ingredients, not counting salt and pepper, and ready in under 20 minutes. My favorite part is the sourdough toast that I rub with a raw garlic clove – something my dad always used to do, which reminds me of him. This soup is also budget-friendly as it uses one of my favorite pantry staples – chickpeas, which are so healthy and high in fiber. More chickpea recipes that you could try are Harissa Shrimp and Chickpeas and Chickpea Tomato Soup.

Garlic Toast

What is escarole?

Escarole is a leafy green vegetable and member of the chicory family. It’s popular in Italian cuisine and can be served either raw or cooked. At the grocery store, escarole can be easy to miss as it looks a lot like lettuce. It’s usually located near the heads of lettuce and bunches of kale. If you can’t find it, any leafy green vegetable will work.

Parmesan cheese rind adds great flavor in soup

Here’s a tip: Save those Parmesan or Romano cheese rinds in the freezer, they give soup a deeper savory flavor to make tasty soups. Let the rind simmer in the soup pot and toss it before serving. If you don’t have one, no worries. You can still make this escarole and chickpea soup without it and just add a little Parmesan to your soup before serving.


  • Swap the chickpeas for white beans.
  • Swap the escarole for any leafy green such as baby spinach or chard.
  • Omit the toast to make it gluten-free

Escarole and Chickpea Soup with Garlic ToastEscarole and Chickpea Soup with Garlic Toast

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Escarole and Chickpea Soup with Garlic Toast

5 from 4 votes
If you're looking for a healthy and filling vegetarian soup that's quick, cheap and easy, this Escarole and Chickpea Soup is it.
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Escarole and Chickpea Soup with Garlic Toast
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 25 mins
Yield: 4 servings
Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups


  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups canned chickpeas rinsed and drained
  • 5 cups chopped escarole leaves from 1 head
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 1 Parmesan cheese rind plus fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano, for serving (optional)
  • 4 1 ounce small slices Sourdough bread (or 2 large, cut in half)
  • olive oil spray


  • Smash 3 of the garlic cloves with the side of a knife. Cut the 4th clove in half.
  • Heat a medium pot or Dutch Oven on medium heat; when hot add the oil.
  • Add the 3 smashed garlic cloves and sauté until golden, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the broth, Parmesan rind and chickpeas and bring to a boil. Then add the escarole and cook until it wilts, about 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, spritz the bread with olive oil and place in the broiler or toaster, until golden brown.
  • Take the garlic halves and rub them all over the toasted bread.
  • To serve, discard the garlic and cheese rind. Ladle into 4 bowls and serve with fresh grated Parmesan. Serve with garlic toast.

Last Step:

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Serving: 1 1/2 cups, Calories: 222 kcal, Carbohydrates: 38 g, Protein: 10.5 g, Fat: 4 g, Saturated Fat: 0.5 g, Sodium: 466 mg, Fiber: 8.5 g, Sugar: 5.5 g


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12 comments on “Escarole and Chickpea Soup with Garlic Toast”

  1. How do I remove the smashed garlic from the soup? Can’t I just leave it in? Has anyone else left it in? I love garlic, so I feel like this would be okay. 

  2. Loved this recipe! It was a quick and easy lunch for me with plenty of leftovers. I used a big tub of mixed greens that were on their last day and it came out great.

  3. This is so delicious ! I love that it is super healthy and so easy! Comes together in no time! Thank you Gina! More of these 😋

  4. So good!  Couldn’t find escarole so I used prewashed kale from a bag.  Also I used low sodium chicken broth since I’m not vegan :). I didn’t have a rind but even without it, it was tasty.  A satisfying, easy & nutritious lunch on a cold day.  Thanks Gina!

    1. I have this recipe exactly as written in my first Skinnytaste cookbook, only instead of chickpeas I used white beans, it’s called Italian Escarole and White Bean Soup. Very common Italian recipe. Of course, you can use spinach instead.

  5. Do you think this would work ok with curly (as opposed to Tuscan) kale? I can’t get escarole in Australia!

    1. Avatar photo
      Penny Wilson

      Silver beet is also really good – that is the green of choice in the Italian restaurants near us.