Italian Chickpea Soup with Fusilli Pasta

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.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Italian Chickpea Soup with Pasta
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Serve pasta in soup bowls and pour chickpea soup over the pasta.
  5. Garnish each bowl with remaining fresh herbs and/or grated cheese (if using).
Notes:
  1. Make this recipe gluten-free by using a gluten-free variety of pasta.
  2. 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!

“The Great Stromboli” No-Tomato Sauce on No-Uh-Meat-Uh-Balls

A tomato-free sauce is served with vegan meatballs to create a delicious Italian feast! Serve over capellini or your favorite pasta. The secrets of this recipe are using fresh lemon juice to create the tangy tomato taste and fresh cooked beet puree for color. In studying macrobiotics, I have learned that nightshade vegetables (such as tomatoes) can cause inflammation in the body and aggravate conditions such as arthritis and IBS. This recipe is perfect for those trying to avoid nightshades that really miss eating Italian food!

My macrobiotic teacher and friend David Briscoe comes to Austin to teach at The Natural Epicurean for the macrobiotic unit I teach there four times a year. He treats us to this Macro-Vegan Italian Feast each time he comes, and it is always super delicious and packed with nourishment. These dishes are complex in flavor and nutrient-dense. I hope you’ll make the effort to try these recipes as they are truly special!

The sauce starts with a saute of onions, carrots, olive oil, herbs, spices, and garlic.

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After the vegetables are soft, they are pureed and returned to the pot for additional seasoning.

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Finally, a puree of steamed beets is added to create a beautiful tomato-like color.

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"The Great Stromboli" No-Tomato Sauce
 
Cuisine: Italian
Ingredients
  • 1 cup beets, sliced into rounds
  • 1 medium onion, sliced into thin half moons
  • 1 clove minced garlic (optional to add more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups carrots, cut into thin diagonal slices
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1½ teaspoons dry basil
  • 1 teaspoon onion granules or powder
  • spring or filtered water
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 - 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 -2 tablespoons kuzu, dissolved in ¼ cup water
Instructions
  1. Steam beets until tender. Puree until smooth and set aside in a bowl.
  2. Saute the onions and garlic together in olive oil for 3 minutes. Add carrots, basil, oregano, and onion granules/powder. Continue to saute a few minutes.
  3. Add enough water to almost cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat. Cook covered until the carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Do not allow the water to cook completely away.
  4. Put the cooked vegetables into a blender, and then add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT THE BEETS. Blend until smooth. Add more water to the ingredients in the blender so they will blend into a thick sauce.
  5. Place the blended ingredients in a pot. Slowly bring to a boil on a medium-low heat. Careful to avoid bubbling and splattering of the thick sauce. Reduce the heat. Slowly whisk in some of the pureed beets, until you create a reddish color like tomato sauce.
  6. Taste for seasonings and add more salt and/or lemon juice if needed.

These mushroom and brown rice meatballs are the perfect complement to the no-tomato sauce

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No-Uh-Meat-Uh-Balls
 
Pressure cooking the rice by far creates the best consistency for making these balls. Cook the rice with slightly more water to make it softer and stickier. Serve this on top of capellini or other pasta or solo, smothered in "The Great Stromboli" No-Tomato Sauce.
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 12 meatballs
Ingredients
  • 3 cups pressure-cooked brown rice
  • ½ cup walnuts or pecans, toasted
  • ½ cup bread crumbs (Italian) or puffed brown rice
  • 2 cups sauteed, chopped portabella mushrooms, measured after sautéing
  • ½ cup chopped scallion, roots, white and green parts
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons barley miso or red miso
  • ⅓ cup chopped parsley
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Break the walnuts into pieces. Warm the oil in a frying pan, and then add the walnuts. Saute briefly.
  3. Add the scallion. Saute briefly until the color turns a brighter green.
  4. Add the miso and saute it with the scallions until the miso is evenly distributed throughout the scallion. Remove from heat.
  5. Place the cooked rice, sauteed scallions, miso, walnuts, portabellas, parsely in a bowl. Mix well. Form the mixture into 1½ inch balls, cupping the mixture with your hands firmly like making a snowball.
  6. Test to make sure the balls hold their shape. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes.
Note:
  1. This recipe can be made gluten-free by using a gluten-free red miso (instead of barley miso) and puffed brown rice (instead of bread crumbs).

 

Add some fresh cooked pasta and a crisp salad and voila! An Italian Feast is born!

italian feast

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rachel@cookloveheal.com

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