Soak chickpeas in 1 quart of water for 4 to 6 hours or overnight; drain chickpeas and combine, in a large soup pot or Dutch oven, with 6 cups of water.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 1 hour; drain, reserving broth and adding water to bring the liquid back up to 6 cups.
Dry out pot and heat the oil over medium heat; cook onions until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic, thyme, parsley, and paprika; stir.
Add in tomatoes and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes cook down slightly, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Add in chickpeas and broth; season with salt and pepper.
Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until chickpeas are tender, 30 to 60 minutes.
Add the chard, cover, and simmer until the greens are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes; turn off heat.
If serving with the optional garnishes, whisk the eggs and lemon juice together, temper with a ladle-ful of broth (not boiling!), stir into soup, stirring vigorously so that eggs do not curdle, but rather clouds the soup.
Spoon some rice into each serving bowl and top with soup.