As a follow up to publishing the launch date of my second cookbook,
Healthy Eating for Life
here’s the first recipe in that book–a warming dish for winter:
Chickpea and Pasta Soup
Worth considering for Christmas Eve or Boxing day evening [the 26th for American friends] !
It has been eaten in Italy since Roman times.
The poet, Horace, wrote about heading for home and a bowl of leeks, pasta and chickpeas.
There are many variations on the theme of chickpeas and pasta.
A constant flavour is rosemary.
450g cooked chickpeas–tinned or bottled
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 carrot–chopped fine
1 stick of celery–chopped fine
1 small onion– chopped fine
4 garlic cloves–pulped with a teaspoon of salt
1 tbsp tomato concentrate
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
a sprig of rosemary
a sprig of sage
750ml vegetable stock (I use organic vegetable stock cubes)
Parmesan rind (optional–this is just the leftover rind when you’ve grated all the useable cheese off. Save them for this soup!)
salt and black pepper
180gms small pasta (tubular is what I use, but any small pasta will do)
olive oil to swirl in each bowl
- Purée two-thirds of the cooked chickpeas in a food mixer or blender (you can use a bit of the liquid from the tin, can or jar to loosen the mixture, if you wish)
- In a large pan gently sauté the carrot, celery and onion until they soften–about 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic, the cayenne (if using) and the sprigs of herb, mixing them in for a couple of minutes.
- Stir in the tomato concentrate and cook a further couple of minutes.
- Stir in the chickpeas and the purée.
- Add the stock and the parmesan rind (if using) and bring the soup gently up to the boil.
- Add the raw pasta and stir well ensuring the purée doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Season and simmer until the pasta is done–adding more liquid if it gets too thick.
- Serve hot–with the addition of some steamed broccoli, si vous voulez!
Along with its cousin, pasta e fagioli, these are my two favorite soups of the moment!