Pasta e Ceci – Rosemary scented chickpeas and pasta soup with black kale
You will have to forgive me for still being immersed in Italian food and culture. On second thought, I shouldn’t have to apologize, it’s fabulous food and I am sharing it with you. So, enjoy.
One of the soups we had in Tuscany was pasta and chickpea soup that was simply delicious and just my kind of food. When we returned home I made a lot of soups in the beginning, because they are easy to put together and good to have in the fridge.
The other day I got around to making the chick pea soup. I didn’t have dried chickpeas so I used canned and it made a lovely soup that we enjoyed over a couple of days. When making soups I tend to “throw in” an extra this or that that I have in the fridge. In this case it was chopped black kale (cavolo nero) and trimming from red pepper I was using for something else, and it gave the soup a wonderful, if not necessarily completely authentic, additional layer of flavour. In my kitchen, I am the boss.
The key herb in traditional recipes is rosemary, we had a few beautiful rosemary scented pasta e ceci soups while traveling, and I use rosemary in this recipe as well.
Here it is:
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, chopped
1 rib celery with leaves, chopped
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 spring fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 small can diced tomatoes
1 can chickpeas
4 – 6 cups vegetable stock
2 cups chopped balck kale
2 cups small pasta shells
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup chopped parsley.
Warm up the oil in a soup pot, add the onion and cook until softened but not browned.
Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, very briefly.
Add the carrot and celery and red pepper (if using), rosemary and cook until the vegetables begin to soften.
Add the chick peas and toss to coat.
Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
Add 4 cups of the stock and bring to a boil.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cook the soup until the flavours combine, about 20 minutes on low simmer.
If necessary, add remaining stock and bring to a boil. If there is sufficient liquid for the pasta, leave as is, but the pasta will absorb a lot of the broth.
Add the pasta and chopped kale, turn off the heat and let the pasta and kale cook in the hot soup, covered.
Lift the lid and if necessary, add more hot stock to create the right balance of broth to the other ingredients. I like soups to be soupy. In Italy they seem to like them more “dry”.
Serve hot, drizzle with a little extra olive oil and sprinkle with parsley.