Italian chickpea soup is a delicious & economical one-pot meal
Over the years, warm and comforting Italian Chickpea Soup has been a family favorite. Like a minestrone, this soup is a one-pot meal, as it has a variety of vegetables, beans, and pasta (added for extra heartiness). You can use any kind of short pasta in this soup such as fusilli (spirals), farfalle (bowties), wheels, or shells. Make it gluten-free by using a gluten-free variety of pasta.
Recently I taught how to make this soup at my daughter’s elementary classroom. Here’s a photo of the soup the children made. We made the recipe X4, which fed about 35 people. Using all organic ingredients, the cost came to $2 per person including soup, pasta, bread, and butter. Very economical!
Ingredients you’ll need
- Cooked or canned chickpeas
- Onion, carrot, celery, and zucchini
- Olive oil, sea salt, black pepper
- Bay leaf, rosemary, parsley or basil
- Vegetable broth, chicken broth, or water
- Short variety of pasta
- Parmigiano reggiano or pecorino romano cheese (optional)
Have you tried making homemade chickpeas?
The secret to making Italian Chickpea Soup delicious is to make your chickpeas from scratch. To make it easier, prepare your chickpeas in advance. You can store them in the refrigerator or freezer until you’re ready to make the soup.
I use a pressure-cooker to make my chickpeas, but they can be made in a regular pot (it just takes longer). I recommend making a big batch of chickpeas and freezing some away in quart-sized freezer bags that you can use later on to make hummus or another batch of soup. Here is my recipe for Homemade Chickpeas.
If using canned chickpeas, I recommend a variety made without preservatives like the Eden brand. They still need to be seasoned, as they are not prepared in the same way as homemade chickpeas, but at least they don’t have a bunch of added preservatives.
Layering ingredients to enhance flavors
The trick to making delicious soup is to layer your ingredients. Start by sautéing onions, then adding garlic and rosemary, then carrots and celery, and finally zucchini. This way the harder vegetables will have adequate time to soften and become flavorful before adding the broth and chickpeas. After the final seasoning with salt and pepper, simmer for at least a few minutes more to incorporate the seasoning into the soup.Print
- 1 recipe Homemade Chickpeas or 3 cups cooked chickpeas
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
- 2 stalks celery, sliced
- 2 medium carrots, sliced into rounds or half moons
- 2 medium zucchini, sliced into half or quarter moons
- 4 cups vegetable stock or water
- 1 organic bay leaf
- ½ cup fresh parsley or basil leaves, chopped, divided
- 2 cups cooked pasta (such as farfalle, fusilli, twists, wheels, or shells)
- sea salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano (optional)
- Follow instructions for making Homemade Chickpeas. Set chickpeas aside. Do not drain, as the chickpea cooking liquid will be used in the soup. If using canned chickpeas you will need to drain the liquid from the can.
- In 3- to 5-quart soup pot, sauté onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of sea salt for about 5 minutes over medium or medium-low heat, then add add another tablespoon olive oil, garlic, rosemary, celery, carrot, and another pinch sea salt and sauté about 10 minutes more. Adjust heat if necessary to prevent burning. Add zucchini and sauté a minute more.
- Place chickpeas and chickpea cooking liquid into soup pot and add stock and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low, cover, and simmer until zucchini is soft, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and simmer a few minutes more. Add half of fresh herbs.
- Serve pasta in soup bowls and pour chickpea soup over the pasta.
- Garnish each bowl with remaining fresh herbs and/or grated cheese (if using).
- Make this recipe gluten-free by using a gluten-free variety of pasta.
- If using canned chickpeas, add 3 cloves minced garlic along with carrots and celery.
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Enjoy making soup on a cold winter day and share with some friends!