Over the years, this Italian Chickpea Soup has been a family favorite and has always gone over well with children visiting our home.The addition of pasta makes the soup heartier, like a minestrone, and can definitely be considered a one-pot meal.
I recently had the opportunity to teach a cooking class at my daughter’s elementary classroom where I decided to serve the soup with pasta and bread, which was a real hit! An added bonus is how economical this recipe is. We made this recipe X4, which fed about 35 people, using all organic ingredients, for under $2 per person including soup, pasta, bread, and butter.
Day 1 of our cooking class involved walking to the grocery store, selecting our groceries, and carrying our groceries back in a wagon! When we got back to the classroom, we soaked the chickpeas so they would be ready to cook the following day.
Day 2 of our cooking class involved cooking the chickpeas in the pressure cooker, and slicing, dicing, and sautéing vegetables for the soup.
The secret to making this soup delicious is to make your chickpeas from scratch. Make your chickpeas in advance, as it takes a good 8-10 hours to rehydrate the dried chickpeas (I usually do this step overnight), and some more time to cook them. 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.
- 1 recipe Homemade Chickpeas or 3 cups cooked chickpeas
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 small onion, diced
- 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)
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano (optional)
- sea salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 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 10 minutes over medium or medium-low heat. Add rosemary and stir to coat onions. Add another tablespoon olive oil, 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. Add half of fresh herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- 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.
By noon our cooking crew was ready to serve their homemade soup, pasta, and bread to the class.
Enjoy making soup on a cold winter day and share with some friends!