Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 350 F.
Add olive oil to a large dutch oven or heavy pot and set to medium heat. Peel and finely dice the onion, add to the pot and stir until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add grated garlic, cumin, red chili flakes, oregano, salt, and drained garbanzo beans to the onions and stir for another 5 minutes.
Add crushed tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, and vegetable stock. Dice carrots and add to soup. Let simmer on medium heat, uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally while you make the croutons.
Make croutons: Line a baking sheet with foil. Rip bread slices into 1 inch pieces and drizzle with 3 Tbsp olive oil. Season with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until deep golden brown. Set aside.
Taste soup for salt or any other seasonings you’d like to add. Ladle hot soup into bowls. Top with croutons, freshly grated cheddar cheese, and more croutons. Enjoy!