Swiss Chard and Chickpea Soup

February 24, 2015

This easy Swiss chard and chickpea soup is hearty and filling, has incredible flavor, and freezes really well. This is pure vegan comfort food.

This easy Swiss chard and chickpea soup is hearty and filling, tastes “meaty” and has incredible flavor. It freezes really well, too.

This amazing chickpea soup comes from the Living Candida-Free cookbook.

My dear friend Ricki Heller has so much knowledge to share about candida after living with it for many years. Her 3-Phase program is fabulous, and the recipes are so incredibly delicious you won’t even realize you’re following an elimination diet. If you suffer from candida, want to reduce your sugar consumption, go vegan, or just want to get healthy, this book has so much to offer.

Candida, a yeast that naturally occurs in and on the human body, is usually harmless; however, once it starts feeding off extra sugar in the body and multiplying rapidly, it can cause a person to become seriously ill. And because the symptoms caused are so wide-ranging, many doctors have a hard time diagnosing it—leading many health professionals to call it a hidden epidemic. Candida is an extremely debilitating disorder, and having lived with it myself, I know how dangerous it can be. Candida can lead to chronic fatigue and pain, digestion disorders, weight gain, brain fog, depression, and allergies.

Ricki is a registered holistic nutritionist, and has teamed up with functional nutritionist Andrea Nakayama to create a health plan and diet designed to help people combat the candida overgrowth that’s making them sick. Ricki opens the book with her personal story, and then with Andrea, they teach you how to map your gut microbiome, and then walk you through “the four D” principles of the anti-candida plan: restoring good Digestion, Detoxifying the body, treating Dysbiosis (repopulating the gut with healthful bacteria), and then coping with the Discord (psychological and emtional imbalances) that the condition has caused.

Heller outlines a three-phase vegan, sugar-free, and gluten-free Anti-Candida Diet (ACD) designed to starve the yeast while nurturing the rest of the body, and includes a Yeast Assessment quiz for you to gauge your needs. Instead of relying on fixed timelines that ignore the body’s signals and progress, the phases of the ACD are flexible and are cued by how you are progressing.

Star gut-healthy foods in the program include: cultured foods, soaked and sprouted nuts ands seeds, cabbage, omega-3 oils and coconut oil. I really love the “how can I tell whether I can tolerate certain foods?” and who to reintroduce foods section. This is often the trickiest part of any anti-candida program, and Ricki has some great strategies.  She also has a wonderful list of anti-fungal supplements including oil of oregano, olive leaf extract, Pau D’arco, colloidal silver, wormwood, cloves, and many more. I also really enjoyed the section on dealing with cravings and coping with social situations, which were so challenging for me when I was on anti-candida programs.

But, the star of this book is the meal plans and recipes. Ricki is one of the most talented gluten-free, vegan recipe developers out there. Her recipes are always delicious and nutritious, and really simple. Check out the Grain-Free Pizza Crust, Homemade Ketchup, Mojito Smoothie, Sparkling Cranberry Cooler, Fluffy Pancakes, Sour Cream and Onion Kale Chips, Sweet and Spicy Roasted Chickpeas, Zucchini Fritters, Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Soup with Herbed Dumplings, Fennel, Brussels Sprout, and Edamame Salad, Super Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, Chocolate Cookie Dough Truffle Balls, and Emergency Fudge.

This book is not only a great anti-candida resource, it’s a brilliant guide for anybody wanting to cut out refined sugar and reclaim health. Nobody uses stevia like Ricki. Her recipes don’t have that revolting aftertaste that so many sugar-free recipes have. You’ll never know they’re sugar-free!

Get your copy of Living Candida-Free and learn more about Ricki Heller.


Swiss Chard and Chickpea Soup

This easy Swiss chard and chickpea soup is hearty and filling, and has incredible flavor. It freezes really well, too. This is pure vegan comfort food.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Author Tess Masters


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups diced yellow onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 3 cups (720g) canned diced tomatoes and their juices
  • 2 cups (480g) cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch chard, stems removed and leaves cut into ribbons
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 4 cups (960ml) vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, warm the oil and saute the onion and garlic fror about 5 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent.
  2. Add the canned tomatoes, chickpeas, chard, parsley, basil, salt, oregano, onion powder, and broth. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes to allow the flavors to mesh. 
  3. Remove the pot from the heat, and allow the soup to cool slightly. Stir the in the lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. 

Recipe Notes

From Living Candida-Free by Ricki Heller
Photo by Trent Lanz; styling by Alicia Buszczak
Other recipes from the book: 
Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles
Single-Serve Pancakes
Grain-Free Apple Berry Crumble


Comments 4

  1. Hi thanks for sharing. I cannot believe I found a recipe that does not have red, green, or any other color peppers or chilies in it. Everywhere I go and every recipe I have seen has some kind of it and I am allergic to them. I will be trying this recipe it looks delicious. Can’t wait to try it.¡

    1. Nate, the cooking time isn’t for the chickpeas–it’s to soften the vegetables and allow all the other flavors to meld so that the soup is thick and flavorful. You could cook less if you like, but I think you’ll find that the flavors haven’t quite developed until around 30 minutes. 🙂

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