Pasta With Chickpeas

“To feel safe and warm on a cold wet night, all you really need is soup.”
Laurie Colwin

I first made this hearty Italian soup several years ago for the first course of a Mother’s Day feast. I love chickpeas, and I love garlic. And I love soup, and I love simplicity. This recipe combines all four factors, on top of which it comes from Jamie Oliver (easily my favorite famous chef.) What is more, when I prepared a pot of this yummy soup the other week, it gave me the opportunity to try out the new immersion blender I got for Christmas. It is turquoise, you see, and so pretty.

I’ve posted this generic photo instead of a personal one because my own blender friend is currently sitting in the sink. I used it to make a peanut butter-Nutella milkshake last night. It is my new favorite thing. I should probably start saying “she” instead of “it” and give my beauty a proper name (suggestions are welcome.)

But I digress…

This soup is really very tasty. And it isn’t difficult to make. And… what more could you want?

Pasta With Chickpeas (Pasta e Ceci):

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • A sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped (I used dried rosemary. Because it’s January, you know.)
  • 2 14 oz. cans of chickpeas
  • 2 1/4 cups chicken stock
  • 3 1/2 oz. ditalini, or any other small Italian “soup” pasta
  • Salt and pepper

Put the garlic into a saucepan with a little olive oil and the rosemary and cook as gently as possible, with the lid on, for about 15-20 minutes.

Drain your chickpeas well and rinse them in cold water, then add to the pan and cover with stock. Cook gently for half an hour then, using a slotted spoon, remove half of the chickpeas and put them to the side in a bowl.

Using an immersion blender, puree the soup in the pan. If you haven’t got an immersion blender, you can pour the soup into a conventional blender and puree it, returning it to the pan when finished.

Add the reserved whole chickpeas to the pureed soup, then add the pasta. Season with salt and pepper, simmering gently until the chickpeas are tender and the pasta is cooked.

At this point, if the soup is a little thick, pour in some boiling water from the kettle to thin it down, and add more salt and pepper (if needed.)

Serve drizzled with olive oil… lovely sprinkled with some freshly town basil or parsley.


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