A one-bowl meal, this pasta and chickpea soup recipe is loaded with vegetables and comes together in a half-hour, perfect for a quick and nourishing weeknight dinner.
Pasta and Chickpea Soup Recipe
When you’re in the mood for a filling soup, this pasta and chickpea soup (made with gluten-free pasta o’course) is just the thing. It’s a perfectly cozy soup, simple and nourishing, and I’ve been making it every other week for a few months now. It first came to my attention when I had both leftover homemade chickpeas in the fridge (I’ve been doing the bean soaking and boiling thing for awhile now, both in the interest of using less packaging in the form of cans and also because they are cheaper and lacking any additives such as salt or sugar which often turned up in supermarket canned beans) and celery.
This soup is a perfect one dish meal — a bit of pasta, a bit of legume, some vegetables, nothing complicated but wholly satisfying. You could add a salad or cheese on the side but it’s not necessary. This is not a particularly broth-y soup, so while I call this a soup it’s technically more like a stew, inspired by the classic, tomato broth-based Italian dish pasta e ceci. I think it’s also rather forgiving and you could add in a handful or two of chopped spinach, perhaps a cup of peas … I cook it in my dutch oven and thin any leftovers with a splash or two of water.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
So cozy and nourishing. As mentioned, this is a comforting, hearty bowl of soup. It’s good for you because of the vegetables, and it tastes good too.
Versatility. Make this recipe as written, or add some chopped greens. Swap the water for vegetable broth (or do a half-half mix). Skip the pasta altogether if you want a lighter soup.
Quick to prepare. It doesn’t take long to make this soup, which is extra appreciated when you’re in a dinner time crunch. Use a Dutch oven pot to cook the whole soup and keep it warm on the back of the stove.
What You’ll Need to Make Pasta Chickpea Soup
- Olive oil
- Yellow onion
- Water or broth
- Gluten-free pasta
- Salt and pepper
How to Make Pasta and Chickpea Soup
For the full instructions, see the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Cook the vegetables. In a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato and cook a few minutes more.
- Add chickpeas. Add 2 cups chickpeas and the water and bring to a boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes. In a blender or using an immersion blender, carefully puree the soup. Return to the pot and add the pasta; cook until al dente.
- Finish. Stir in the remaining ½ cup of the chickpeas and the parsley if using. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
Tip: Swap vegetable broth for the water for extra flavor. You may need to add extra water when reheating.
Store soup in the fridge in a glass sealed container for 3 days. To serve, gently reheat in a pot on the stove.
This “pasta and chickpea soup” is my version of Pasta e Ceci, a delicious Italian pasta and chickpea stew.
It’s a good idea. Draining and rinsing canned beans before using in a recipe can help cut their sodium content.
Pasta e ceci (pasta and chickpea soup) originates from the tradition of “cucina povera” cooking, which means “poor cooking.” Cucina povera dishes were created by Italian peasants who could only afford simple ingredients to cook with.
Pasta and Chickpea Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 tomato, coarsely chopped
- 2 ½ cups cooked chickpeas, divided
- 6 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1 cup gluten-free orzo or macaroni pasta
- ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato and cook a few minutes more. Season with a generous sprinkling of salt.
- Add 2 cups chickpeas and the water and bring to a boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes. In a blender or using an immersion blender, carefully puree the soup. Return to the pot and add the pasta; cook until al dente.
- Stir in the remaining ½ cup of the chickpeas and the parsley if using. Salt and pepper to taste. Finish with parmesan if desired. Soup can be stored in an air-tight glass container in the fridge for 3 days.