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Pasta e Ceci Soup

Pasta e Ceci (Italian Chickpea Soup)

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This iconic Italian pasta and chickpea soup, pasta e ceci, is as easy as it is delicious! This flavor-filled stew makes a cozy vegetarian lunch or dinner.


  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale (also called Lacinato or dinosaur kale, or cavolo nero)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 28-ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
  • ½ cup chopped basil leaves, plus additional for serving if desired
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 1 1/2 cups cooked)
  • 1/2 teaspoon each dried oregano and dried thyme
  • 2 pinches red pepper flakes
  • Parmesan rind or 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese* (omit for vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup short pasta like rigatoni (gluten-free or legume pasta if desired)
  • For the garnish: Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese


  1. Peel and small dice the onion. Mince the garlic. Chop the kale into bite-sized pieces.
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute for 5 to 6 minutes until the onions are just translucent. Add the garlic and tomato paste and saute for 1 minute.
  3. Add the vegetable broth, tomatoes and juices, chopped basil, drained and rinsed chickpeas, oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, Parmesan rind (or grated Parmesan) and kosher salt. Bring it to a simmer, then cook 10 minutes on medium low.
  4. Add the pasta and kale and cook until pasta is just al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Taste and add fresh ground black pepper and more kosher salt to taste. Remove the Parmesan rind. If desired, garnish with torn basil leaves and Parmesan cheese shavings. The soup will continue to thicken as it cools.


*If you use Parmesan cheese instead of a Parmesan rind, you may end up with some stringy cheese stuck to the bottom of the pot. That’s ok: just discard it when serving!

  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian