Chickpea Vegetable Pasta Soup

Chickpea Vegetable Pasta Soup

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are getting back into the swing of things with some healthier, veggie filled dinners. Growing up, one of my favorite meals my Mom made was Chickpea Pasta Soup. The soup of my childhood was pretty simple: butter, onion, garlic, thyme, chopped tomatoes, chickpeas, shell pasta, and chicken broth.

Last year one of my favorite food blogs, Love & Lemons, posted a Chickpea and Cauliflower Tomato Stew that looked remarkably similar to the Chickpea Pasta Soup of my childhood but with way more veggies! I immediately got to work combining the two recipes into today’s Chickpea Vegetable Pasta Soup.

This soup has simple flavors, maintaining the base of butter, onion, garlic, and thyme of my childhood, but has been beefed up with lots of veggies to make it more interesting and filling. It is great with crusty bread on the side for dipping and is a perfect meal for a cold winter night.

I really think the butter adds a ton of flavor to this soup. And two tablespoons for four (or sometimes a little more) servings is really not that much. But, if you are butter averse, you can use olive oil or a vegan butter substitute instead.

We always had this soup with grated Parmesan cheese on top when we were kids so I still serve it that way. However, Will doesn’t like how the cheese gets stuck to his spoon. So you can decide whether you are pro cheese or not.

We start by sautéing the chopped onion, carrot, thyme, salt, and pepper over medium heat in butter in a large pot or Dutch oven. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the onion is translucent.

Add the kale stems (they cook longer than the leaves), cauliflower, and garlic.

Separate the kale leaves and stems because they require different cooking times.

Sauté for 2 minutes and then add the chopped tomatoes. Simmer the soup for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

A tip on tomatoes: my Mom used to say that buying cans of whole plum tomatoes and chopping them yourself comes out much better than buying cans of chopped tomatoes, and I have to agree. I fish the whole tomatoes out of the can, chop them up, and then dump the chopped tomatoes and all of the juice form the can and cutting board into the soup.

Whole canned tomatoes, chopped.

For some reason those pre-chopped tomatoes don’t break down much and stay in cube form. Chopping them yourself will cause them to breakdown more and incorporate into the soup.

While the soup is simmering, cook the pasta according to package directions. Air on the side of al dente, since you’ll be adding the pasta to the hot soup after cooking. Once the pasta is done, drain and save until you are ready. Cooking the pasta separately from the soup will make sure the pasta is cooked correctly.

Back to the soup, which has simmered for 8 minutes. Next, add the chicken broth and chickpeas. Simmer for another 15 minutes.

At this point the veggies, especially the cauliflower, should be cooked through and tender. Add the kale leaves and cook until wilted and incorporated, just a minute or two.

Add the pasta and warm for a minute. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and/or crusty bread.

Pasta is added and soup is ready to serve.

 

Final soup, topped with Parmesan cheese.

 

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Chickpea Vegetable Pasta Soup

This soup has simple flavors, letting the vegetables and chickpeas shine. I think the butter adds a ton of flavor to this soup. And two tablespoons for four (or sometimes a little more) servings is really not that much. But, if you are butter averse, you can use olive oil or a vegan butter substitute instead. Served with crusty bread and it is a perfect meal for a cold winter night.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author the brave radish

Ingredients

  • 2 tbls butter
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 large or 2 medium carrots chopped
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 4 leaves of kale stems chopped and leaves torn
  • 2-3 cups chopped cauliflower
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or crushed
  • 16 oz can of whole tomatoes chopped
  • 16 oz can chickpeas or about 2 cups if cooking your own drained
  • ½ cup small pasta, I used small shells cooked al dente
  • 2 cups chicken broth

Instructions

  1. Start a medium pot of water for the pasta.
  2. Sautee the onion, carrot, thyme, salt, and pepper over medium heat in butter in a large pot or Dutch oven. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add the kale stems (they cook longer than the leaves), cauliflower, and garlic. Sautee for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes. Simmer the soup for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the chicken broth and chickpeas. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. While the soup is simmering, cook the pasta according to package directions. Air on the side of al dente, since you’ll be adding the pasta to the hot soup after cooking. Once the pasta is done, drain and save until you are ready.
  7. At this point the veggies should be cooked through. Add the kale leaves and cook until wilted and incorporated, just a minute or two.
  8. Add the pasta and warm for a minute. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and/or crusty bread.

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