Italy, renowned for its culinary heritage, boasting a rich tapestry of regional dishes that have stood the test of time. Among them is Chickpea Soup / “Zuppa di Ceci,” a comforting Italian chickpea soup that embodies the core of rustic Italian cooking. There’s nothing quite like a steaming bowl of homemade soup to warm the body and soul during cold winter months.
If you are a chickpea lover than you should give this other Chickpea Soup a try. When it comes to Fall and Winter, A delicious Creamy Soup , Potato Soup or an Italian Beef Stew are always my favourite meals to make. Nothing like a big bowl of soup to warm you up!
- Chickpeas – dried and soaked or canned
- Olive oil – extra virgin olive oil
- Garlic – minced garlic cloves
- Carrots – chopped
- Celery – chopped
- Basil –
- Parsley – fresh Italian parsley chopped
- Hot pepper flakes – optional or black pepper
- Water – if you prefer you can use vegetable broth
- Tomato puree – nothing added
- Pasta – small pasta
What Is Tomato Passata/Puree?
Tomato puree is a liquid, but dense product, it is obtained by removing the pulp from raw or cooked tomatoes. It is sold worldwide and is available in most supermarkets. Of course it can also be produced at home.
How To Make Chickpea Soup
In a medium pot add the olive oil, garlic, carrots and celery and saute until the onion is transparent then add the salt, basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, hot pepper flakes, tomato puree, water and chick peas. Cook over medium heat until boiling, stirring to combine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and continue cooking, stirring occasionally.
Cook until the beans are tender, add another cup of water or broth (depending how soupy you like it you may want to add more water or broth) bring to a boil and immediately add the small pasta again stirring occasionally (so pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom) and cook until al dente. Serve immediately in soup bowls, topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired.
Cooking Dried Beans
There are three different methods for cooking dried beans, the first which is the Traditional Method, is what I usually do and that is to soak the beans for 8 hours.
I place the dried beans (I rinse them in cold water first) in a bowl of cold water before I go to bed and in the morning they are ready for cooking, just drain, rinse and cook.
The second method is the Hot Soak method, place beans in a large pot and cover with 10 cups of water for every 2 cups of beans.
Then heat to boiling and continue to boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let stand for 4-24 hours, then drain the beans and cook.
The third method is the Fastest method which I have yet to try. Place the beans in a large pot and add 6 cups of water for every 2 cups of beans.
Then heat to boiling and continue to boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove the beans from the heat and let stand one hour. Drain the beans and rinse with cold water. Then cook until tender.
Are Chickpeas Good For You?
Chickpea soup is not only delicious but also brimming with health benefits. Chickpeas are an excellent source of plant-based protein and fiber, making this soup a satisfying option for vegetarians and vegans. They are also packed with essential vitamins and minerals, contributing to overall well-being.
Origin Of Chickpea Soup
Chickpeas, known as “ceci” in Italian, have been a staple in Mediterranean cuisine for centuries, its origins are deeply rooted in the culinary traditions of Tuscany and central Italy. Chickpea soup, a beloved classic, has its roots in Italian, Middle Eastern, and North African kitchens. It showcases the timeless appeal of this humble legume, blending it with aromatic herbs and spices to create a soul-soothing experience.
What Is The Best Pasta To Use?
I like to use Ditali, you can also use small shells or elbow macaroni or even broken spaghetti.
Can I Use Canned Chickpeas?
If using canned chickpeas, then drain and rinse, use 2 cups of water and cook for approximately 30 minutes, add more water if needed. See recipe notes for complete instructions.
How To Store The Chickpea Soup
Any leftover soup should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container. It will keep for about 3-4 days.
If you plan on freezing the soup, then freeze it in a freezer safe container. But be sure to freeze it without the addition of pasta. The pasta will get too mushy and it won’t be very tasty. It will keep for up to four months in the freezer.
This Italian Chickpea Soup is a delicious way to pass those dreary Winter days. Buon Appetito!
Italian Chickpea Soup
- 1 cup dried chick peas soaked overnight in 5 cups of water garbanzo beans, rinse before cooking* (2 cups / 330 grams soaked)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 -2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 medium carrots (chopped)
- 1 -2 stalks celery (chopped)
- ½ – 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 dash thyme
- 1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley finely chopped
- 1-2 dashes hot pepper flakes to taste
- ½ cup tomato puree
- 4½ cups water or vegetable broth
- 1 cup dried small pasta (eg Ditali, shells, wheels)
*Canned chickpeas can be used instead, 2 small cans, drain first before adding.
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- In a medium pot add the olive oil, garlic, carrots and celery sautee for approximately 2 minutes or until onion is transparent then add the salt, basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, hot pepper flakes, tomato puree, water and chick peas. Cook over medium heat until boiling, stirring to combine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and continue cooking, stirring occasionally.
- Cook for approximately 50 to 60 minutes (taste for salt and doneness). Once the beans are tender, add another cup of water (depending how soupy you like it, you may want to add more water) bring to a boil and immediately add the small pasta (taste again for salt adjust if necessary) stirring occasionally (so pasta doesn't stick to the bottom), cook until al dente (about 5-6 minutes for small pasta).
- When done, serve immediately in soup bowls, topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired. Enjoy!
Republished from February 4,2014.