Chickpea Soup with Tomatoes & Pasta

My family loves soup! We have our favorites, depending on the season and the time of day. During the heat of summer we enjoy, creamy tomato basil, chilled summer spa soup, zucchini lemon, or an Italian gazpacho. Conversely, the cold winter months require a hot and hearty cup of comfort food. A few of our go-to soups are macaroni and cauliflower, jambalaya soup, stuffed bell pepper soup and lasagna soup. Any of the soups I make can be enjoyed for lunch or dinner but, for a morning meal (especially if you’re feeling a bit under the weather), nothing is as satisfying as zuppa di colazione. This particular chickpea soup recipe and the macaroni and cauliflower are favorites during Lent because both use water, rather than a meat-based broth. Serve with bruschette, rustic ricotta biscuits or mozzarella biscuits.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 8 cups water, plus 2 cups
  • 1 tablespoon course salt
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup ditalini or other small pasta (uncooked)
  1. Rinse the chickpeas and discard any stones. Transfer to a large pot with 8 cups of water and the salt. Cover the pot and soak overnight (24 hours).
  2. Do not drain! Remove the lid and bring the chickpeas and the water they soaked in to a boil. Reduce the heat to a slow but steady simmer. Cook covered until tender, about 90 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, using a saute pan, heat the olive oil and saute the onions 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice and the oregano. Cook 10 -12 minutes. Stir in the red pepper flakes and cook 2 minutes longer.
  4. When the chickpeas are finished cooking, carefully transfer the vegetables to the soup pot. Add the remaining 2 cups of water and bring to a boil, add the ditalini and cook until pasta is al dente. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve with bruschette.

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