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Opaaaa!! Revithosoupa (Greek Chickpea soup)

As there is not much to say about revithosoupa, which is a simple dish, before I tell you how I make it, let’s talk a little about the word “Opaaa!!”.    I am taking this opportunity because the song which has been voted for the Eurovision song contest is called “OPA”. It’s an ethnic song and although it’s not bad I would have preferred the other ethnic song by Manos Pyrovolakis.

I don’t really care about this contest but the reason I am mentioning this is to explain what the word “OPA” means.  I am sure only a few Greeks know the real meaning of the word and it’s not just an exclamation when we dance.

The word Opa derives from the ancient word η οψ, της οπός (pronounced ops genitive case opos), and this does not only mean eyes, vision, appearance etc. Some examples of words known to English speaking people are Cyclops (having one round eye), Europe (having beautiful big eyes), metope (in arch. between two holes (eyes) ) and the same word is used in Greek for the forehead, but also means “voice” as in speaking but also in singing.  For those of you speaking Greek, you may find a lot of interesting information here.

All Greek words have a meaning because they are descriptive.  One of the nine muses was Kalliopi, Καλλι-όπη (έχουσα καλήν όπα), and her name means “having a good voice” and of course Kalliopi was the patron of anything having to do with the voice and of course poetry.

Now, back to the recipe.  Although it’s spring and the weather is supposed to be warm in Greece, March still has some cold days, so I would like to share this simple but hearty chickpea soup, while the weather is still cold.

As I said, although this soup is very simple, with just a few ingredients and has nothing fancy to show in appearance, yet this is what makes Greek cuisine to be delicious getting most of its flavour from the Greek olive oil.

I know that some of you don’t have the time to cook the chickpeas for two hours and although that I don’t use canned chickpeas, I think that the soup will still work great if you used canned chickpeas.  However, if you have a pressure cooker, you can reduce the time considerably and have the soup ready in half an hour.

If you want a thicker and more creamy soup add a potato as well, which I have included in the recipe.

I am sending this recipe to Lisa, of Lisa’s Vegeterian Kitchen, for her event No Croutons Required, in which chickpeas are featured this month.

Revithosoupa (Greek Chickpea soup)

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 2 hours

Serves: 5


  • 300 grams chickpeas
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups water
  • ¼ cup lemon juice


  1. Boil the potato in 6 – 7 cups of water until soft. Set aside and when the time comes, remove the potato and mash with a fork. Reserve the water to add to the soup.
  2. Soak the chickpeas in water from the previous night.
  3. Drain and peel them. It is preferable to buy skinned chick peas.
  4. Boil in unsalted water, skim the liquid water and drain once. Add fresh water and boil again. Add salt, lower heat, cover with lid and cook until almost soft, about an hour. Drain and set aside.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion until translucent.
  6. Add the chickpeas and mix for a couple of minutes. Add the mashed potato as well as the potato water, salt and freshly ground black pepper and bring to a boil.
  7. Lower heat and simmer for about 1 hour until the chickpeas have become very soft and creamy.
  8. When ready mix in the lemon juice.
  9. Serve with additional olive oil and lemon juice, as well as some freshly ground black pepper.

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!!

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27 Responses

  1. Just the kind of soup I'd enjoy!

    Cheers and have a wonderful week,


  2. OPA…sounds a very interesting song ……..Germany voted for a newbie singer…(I seriously don't like her singing at all, maybe I am just old to accept her way of interpreting the songs. )
    I love chickpeas! The soup looks very good!

  3. hello,ivy,i wish you a good week!your soup is so gooood,i like chickpea and the soup ,also!

  4. Well it looks terrific soup Ivy! I am a fan so I will really chick that soup. A wonderful week!

  5. Revithospoupa is one of the great Greek soups. I make it once a month and we love it!
    Yours look lovely.

  6. here in belgium Opa means grandfather.
    Love this soup looks so filling and delicous.

  7. I haven’t had this in ages Ivy! I really like the addition of potato in it. Must try it!

  8. This soup looks delicious Ivy. Everyone I know (including me, til now) thinks Opa is just something you say when you dance a Greek dance.

  9. I love chickpeas in all its forms, this soup looks very hearty and inviting !

  10. This chickpea soup sounds amazing, creamy and delicious!

  11. Adam

    I've never thought to use chickpeas in soup! Love it – and I can eat soup all year long – even in the hot summer!

  12. Thanks for the background on OPA…many saying it's Turkish when it's clearly of Greek origins. I don't watch/care for Eurovision but I wish Alkaios the best.

    Your soup transports me to my trip to Sifnos.

  13. Ivy, my mother loved chickpeas. So every time I eat them I have sweet memories of her. Thank you for a new recipe to add to my collection. Love it in a soup.

  14. je fais souvent la soupe de pois chiches mais pas de cette manière
    ta recette me plait beaucoup, j'en prends note
    bonne soirée

  15. Beautiful read Ivy!

    I am in love with the simplicity of this soup. The fact that it does not use too many ingredients.. allows the flavor of the oil to come thru'. I rarely used canned chickpeas. I do use a pressure cooker however – makes life way easier and faster,

  16. How interesting…you serve the soup with lemon juice, must be even refreshing 🙂 Something I should try.

  17. Thanks for the interesting information about Opa. I have never thought about skinning chickpeas. Your soup looks delicious. I think soups are good any time of the year.

  18. I am such a lover of chickpeas that I would even eat this soup in the summer! So simple but so delicious. And thanks for the explanation of opaaa!

  19. so what does opa mean? did I miss something?
    Great soup, I love the simplicity of it, precisely!

  20. Your soup sounds lovely with the olive oil and lemon! I really like chickpeas, so I know I'll love this soup.

  21. Thanks so much for your submission Ivy. It's always a treat to get an entry from you.

  22. On fait la même soupe mais e n sauce rouge.
    Très bonne soupe.
    A bientôt.

  23. interesting soup Ivy! Another way to use ingredients from the pantry!

  24. Hi Ivy! Can you believe that I have never eaten revithosoupa?! I don't know why my mom never made this dish, I guess I should blame my dad for that, hahaha:D Since I love chickpeas, I will try to make this one soon!

  25. Jane

    J’aime ces recette.

  26. Fay

    I found your site when I couldn’t remember if revithosoupa was made with raw onions or sautéd. I make my soup the same way! I can’t stop eating it! Thank you for our lesson in the origins of OPA. I will forever look at chickpeas and think opa! And this info will make me look a little bit smarter during dinner conversations.

    • Ivy

      Thank you Fay. Hope you enjoy your revithosoupa!