Revithia (Greek Garbanzo Bean Soup)

Absolutely delicious. So simple, yet so good for you too!

This soup was one of my father’s specialties. He made it frequently and it became a favorite of my husband, a transplant from the Midwest.

Susan Tweeton


  • 1 pound dry garbanzo beans
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2–3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2–3 carrots, chopped
  • 2–4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or lamb (optional)
  • 1–2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2–3 quarts water


Dry Bean Preparation

  1. Rinse and soak beans:
    • Overnight Soak Method: Soak 1 pound dry beans in large pot overnight in at least two quarts of water.
    • Quick Soak Method: Combine 1 pound dry beans and 2 quarts of water in large pot. Heat beans and water to boiling. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for at least 1 hour.
  1. Drain soaking water and rinse beans.
  2. Add 2 quarts water.
  3. Cover and bring to boil.
  4. Reduce heat to simmer.
  5. Cook for 45–60 (or longer) until beans are just tender (not mushy).

Canned Bean Preparation:

  1. Use 4 15 ounce cans of garbanzo beans.
  2. Drain and rinse beans.
  3. Place beans in large soup pot.
  4. Add 1 ½ quarts water.

Soup Preparation:

  1. Lightly sauté chopped onion, celery, carrots and minced garlic in olive oil. 
  2. Cover and cook over medium heat until just tender (not mushy). Do not brown. (Optional: brown ground beef/lamb; drain well).
  3. Add vegetables (with oil) and meat (if used) to prepared beans.
  4. Add pepper, bay leaves, oregano and salt (dry beans will require more salt than canned beans).
  5. Add tomato sauce and additional quart water, if desired.
  6. Cover and bring to boil.
  7. Reduce heat and simmer for 30–45 minutes.. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  8. Service with crusty bread and a salad. This soup taste ever better reheated the next day; it also freezes well.


If you’re in a hurry, brown the vegetables along with the ground meat in just 1 tablespoon olive oil. Just be sure to drain off excess fat well. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the soup during its final 30 minutes of cooking.