Sunday, December 8, 2013

Pasta E Ceci (Pasta with Chickpeas): Cozy Bean Soup for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

This soup showed up gracing the cover of my December Vegetarian Times magazine and immediately made it to the top of my soup "to make" list. Chickpeas, pasta, rosemary, along with raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, these are a few of my favorite things. ;-) Add them to a warming bowl of soup and my belly is happy.

Vegetarian Times says, "A cousin of pasta e fagioli, this cozy soup features chickpeas instead of white beans.I made a few small changes to the recipe, noted in red below. 

Pasta E Ceci (Pasta with Chickpeas) Soup
Adapted from Vegetarian Times, December 2013
(Serves 6)
30 Minutes or Less

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp) (I added an extra clove)
3 plum or Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped (2 cups)
1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (doubled)
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (I used 6 cups of low-sodium chicken-style veggie broth)
1/2 cup ditalini or tubetti (I used 3/4 cup)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh basil or parsley, for garnish

Heat oil in large soup pot or 
Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 
onion and rosemary sprigs, and sauté 
5 to 7 minutes, or until onion has softened.

Add garlic, and sauté 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, and season with salt, 
if desired. Sauté 3 to 5 minutes. Remove rosemary sprigs. (I removed the stems of the sprigs and chopped off some of the remaining rosemary leaves and added back to the soup with the ones that had already fallen off.)

Add chickpeas, and slightly 
mash with fork or potato masher to thicken soup. (I put a couple of ladles in the blender then added them back to the soup.)

Add broth, and bring to a boil. 
(I let the soup simmer about 10 minutes to increase the blending of flavors before turning up the heat, adding in the ditalini and cooking about 9 minutes.) Add pasta, and cook 1 minute less than package directions suggest.

Season soup with salt, if desired, 
and pepper. Garnish each serving with 
1 Tbs. Parmesan and 1 tsp. basil.

Nutritional Info: Per 1-cup Serving: Calories: 160, Protein: 7g, Total Fat: 5g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Carbohydrates 23g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Sodium: 545mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g

Notes/Results: Healthy, hearty and full of good flavor, this soup is quick and easy to make and delicious--plus it smells darn good while it's cooking. Rosemary pairs so well with beans, and the grated Parmesan and fresh basil add that little extra something special to the soup. I doubled the amount of chickpeas  because I like a beany soup and increased the pasta and broth amounts to accommodate the extra beans. If you can't get good fresh tomatoes where you live this time of year, canned fire roasted tomatoes would work fine. I would happily make this one again.

We have soups, a salad and even some little sandwiches waiting in the Souper Sundays kitchen--let's take a look.

Joyce of Kitchen Flavours shares Stuffed Beancurd Puffs in Hakka Style soup and says, "On days when the mind just "freezes" over what to prepare for dinner, cookbooks certainly comes in handy. I love eating Hakka cuisines and especially love the meat stuffing used in Yong Tau Fu. I made this delicious Stuffed Beancurd Puffs for dinner last week, recipe taken from a local cookbook on Hakka cuisine. ... Very delicious! I served this stuffed beancurd soup with some Hakka Noodles. The meat filling is so springy, chewy and so tasty. I will definitely make this again."

Tigerfish of Teczcape - An Escape to Food brings Fish "Tofu", Bok Choy & Tomato Rice Noodle Soup and says, "One of the best ways to enjoy these precious organic heirloom tomatoes is using them, fresh and raw, in salads. But it was a cold winter day and salads were not the best way to go. I want a piping hot soup on this blustery day. A Rice Noodles Soup might just be it. This noodle soup is very similar to the Shirataki Noodle Soup I have cooked before. Both delicious but I definitely prefer using fresh rice noodles."

Little Joy Factory is here with a warming bowl of curried soup and says. "Coconut and Prawn Soup recipe from Donna Hay's website caught my attention as it calls for red curry paste. I bought a jar of red curry paste and cooked Thai Red Curry Fish not long ago.  Thought of cooking the same dish again to use up the leftover paste, but coconut and prawn soup sounds a better idea.  I whipped up the soup in about half an hour, easy and delicious! Served with lemon wedges, the soup tastes fresh and sumptuous!" 

Joanne of Eats Well With Others made this sunny Carrot Soup with Tangled Collard Greens and Dukkah. She says, "This brightly flavored ginger carrot soup topped with coconut-laced collard greens and Dukkah, an Egyptian condiment made of toasted nuts and seeds, is full of the kinds of great flavor and texture you can crave! ... Carrots and ginger are boiled up together and then pureed into a silky smooth brightly flavored blend. Collard greens are steamed and tossed with coconut oil and lime juice. Pistachios, sesame seeds, cumin seeds, and coriander seeds get all roasty toasty in an oven and are then crushed together with a bit of thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper."

Sue of Couscous & Consciousness offers up Donna Hay's Zucchini, Mint & Haloumi Salad and says, "... great textural contrast between the crisp zucchini, velvety spinach leaves, and chewy, melted cheese;  wonderful, robust flavours - bright, herby mint, tangy, sour pomegranate molasses, the sharp saltiness of preserved lemon, and a little bit of heat from the chilli;  and, no slouch in the looks department either - this was a very pretty dish and one which would certainly wow your guests despite the miniscule time spent on it.

Graziana of Erbe in Cucina (Cooking with Herbs) made these little Herrings Canapes with Chervil Cheese and says, "The chervil sown in September has grown. It is one of the fines herbes, delicate aromatic herbs, that should be used raw to preserve their aroma. I prepared cheese flavored with chervil for some canapés, and served with wheat bread (in the picture) and also with some homemade naan that I will post soon."

Thanks to everyone who joined in this week. If you have a soup, sandwich or salad that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo for all of the details. 

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. I've been meaning to make this soup!! Looks like total comfort food. I love that you doubled the mix-ins...that will make me extra happy to eat it!

  2. www.teczcape.blogspot.comDecember 9, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    I like the "size and shape" of everything in your soup! Makes it easier to enjoy with a spoon and finish the entire bowl till the last drop of soup :)


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