Heat a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Once the pot is hot, add the olive oil and swirl it around. Add the onions to the pot. Sauté and stir them occasionally until very soft and totally translucent, about 6-7 minutes. If they are beginning to brown, lower the heat.
Add the carrot and celery to the pot. Sauté with the onions, stirring occasionally, until celery is slightly softened around the edges, about 5 minutes. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.
Add the garlic, chillies, thyme, and lemon zest to the pot and stir. Sauté until the garlic and lemon is super fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the potatoes and chickpeas to the pot and season again with salt and pepper. Give everything a stir. Then add the vegetable stock to the pot. Give the soup another stir and place the lid on top.
Bring the soup to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Set the lid askew on top of the pot so that some steam can escape. Keep simmering until the potatoes are very tender, about 15 minutes.
Carefully ladle half of the soup into the pitcher of an upright, vented blender. Blend this mixture on high until completely smooth. Pour the pureed portion of the soup back into the pot and stir. Add the baby spinach to the pot and stir again. Once the spinach is wilted, add the lemon juice and stir once more. Check the soup for seasoning and adjust if necessary (more lemon, salt, pepper, chili etc!).
Serve the soup hot with drizzles of olive oil and extra black pepper on top.
If you’re not into the potatoes, you could substitute them with an equal amount of chopped cauliflower, being mindful that this will change the flavour to more of a classic cauliflower soup. I think celery root would also work here!
I tend to favour super acidic and lemony flavours in my food. Start with the 1 teaspoon of lemon juice listed here and add more if you need to. I worked up to 1 tablespoon for my personal taste.
I love using a homemade stock in a simple recipe like this. My technique and recipe can be found here.
This lemony chickpea soup is so simple to make and relies on 10 main ingredients--plenty of them from the pantry! Half of the chickpea and potato base is blended to make this vegan and naturally gluten free soup extra creamy and satisfying.