Pasta and Chickpea Soup

Pasta and Chickpea Soup

If you have fresh rosemary, Rachel calls for a sprig; I used dried because it was more convenient for me, and my proportions are noted below. As mentioned above, the cauliflower is my addition and the trick is to dice it quite fine so it cooks at the same time as the other vegetables. If you’d prefer, you can leave it out altogether although I think it makes for a super flavorful, chunky soup that will sustain you all afternoon — or evening, whatever the case may be.

Ever so slightly adapted from My Kitchen in Rome


1 yellow onion
2 garlic cloves
1 celery stalk
1 carrot
1 small head cauliflower, finely chopped (about 1 3/4 cups)
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried, chopped rosemary
2 (14-ounce) chickpeas, drained
Kosher salt
Small Parmesan rind (optional)
8 ounces tubular dried pasta such as tubetti, ditalini or tagliatelle


Finely dice the onion with the garlic, celery, carrot and cauliflower. In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, heat the oil; add the vegetables and cook gently until soft and fragrant. Add the tomato paste and rosemary, stir, and cook for a few minutes, or until the rosemary is fragrant. Add the drained chickpeas and stir. Then add 5 cups hot water, a pinch of salt and the Parmesan rind. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and leave the soup to simmer gently for about 20 minutes.

Remove half the soup and pass it through a food mill or blend with an immersion blender until smooth and creamy. Return it to the pan. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Bring the soup back to a boil, add the pasta, and then, stirring fairly attentively, cook until the pasta is tender, adding more boiling water if necessary (I ended up adding a good 1 1/2 cups extra). Taste to check the seasoning and serve with a little oil oil poured on top