Chickpea and Pasta Soup

29 Reviews
100% would make this recipe again

The Italian «Minestrone di ceci e pasta» is a thick soup of chickpeas, Swiss chard, and short cut pasta.

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, is the most widely consumed legume in the world. Originating in the Middle East, they have a firm texture with a nutty flavour. They are rich in proteins, fibre, phosphorus, calcium, iron, and vitamins.

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Soaking : 8 h Preparation : 10 min Cooking : 1 h
270 calories/serving


1 2/3 cup chickpeas / Garbanzo beans (dried), soaked then drained 240 g
1/2 onions, coarsely chopped 100 g
3 slices bacon, chopped 60 g
1 potatoes, peeled, whole 200 g
3 cups Swiss chard, or spinach, cut into 2-3 pieces 280 g
4 tsp olive oil 20 mL
2 1/2 cups water, to cook the chickpeas 625 mL
1 cup chicken broth 250 mL
1 pinch salt [optional] 0.2 g
ground pepper to taste [optional]
2 cups water, to cook the pasta 500 mL
60 g mezzi tubetti (pasta for soups) 1/2 cup
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated 18 g

Before you start

The chickpeas must be soaked in water overnight. A pressure cooker will reduce the chickpeas cooking time from 45 min to about 12 min. A blender or food processor will be very useful to purée the chickpeas.


  1. Prepare the vegetables : coarsely chop the onion; peel the potatoes, leaving them whole; cut the Swiss chard into 2 or 3 pieces (if using spinach, leave them whole). Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and bacon, then sauté 3-4 min, with occasional stirring. Add the chickpeas and potatoes, then cook 1-2 min with stirring. Pour in the water, broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, about 45 min, until the chickpeas are softened, but al dente (if overcooked, the chickpeas do not fall apart as other legumes, but become "pasty"). If using a pressure cooker, the cooking time is reduced to 12-15 min.
  3. Take the potatoes and about 2 ladles of chickpeas out of the pot and put them in a blender or in a food-mill. Purée the mixture, then put it back into the pot with the soup.
  4. While the chickpeas are cooking, blanch the Swiss chard 4-5 min in a pot of salted boiling water. If using spinach, cook them 3-4 min without adding any water: the water trapped in the leaves after washing them is enough to cook the spinach. Drain the Swiss chard or spinach using a colander, press to remove excess water, then chop them and add them to the chickpea pot.
  5. Cook an additional 2-3 min over medium-high heat, with occasional stirring: the chickpea soup is ready and may be set aside in the refrigerator or freezer for later use.
  6. When ready to serve, pour the soup into a saucepan or pot, add about ¼ cup (65 ml) of water per serving and bring to a boil. Add about 1½ tablespoons (10 g) of pasta per serving, cover, and cook about 6-7 min, over low heat. Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and serve.


This soup will keep up to 5 days in the refrigerator or up to 4 months in the freezer. If freezing, don't include the pasta but instead add it when serving.

Nutrition Facts Table

per 1 serving (380 g)


% Daily Value




7 g

10 %

Saturated 1.5 g
+ Trans 0 g

7 %


10 mg


350 mg

15 %


41 g

14 %


6 g

23 %


6 g

Net Carbs

35 g


13 g

Vitamin A

64 %

Vitamin C

31 %


10 %


26 %


This recipe is :
Excellent source of  :
Copper, Folacin, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin K
Good source of  :
Fibre, Niacin, Phosphorus, Selenium, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Zinc
Source of  :
Calcium, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B2, Vitamin E
Low  :
Calories, Cholesterol, Fat, Saturated Fat, Sodium
Free  :
Added Sugar, Trans Fat


1 serving of this recipe is equivalent to :
Food Group Exchanges
Starches 2
Vegetables ½
Meat and Alternatives 1
Fats 1

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29 Reviews (26 with rating only) 100% would make this recipe again
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Top Reviews

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october 20, 2021 | I would make this recipe again

I made this soup with the spinach and used canned chickpeas. I think the swiss chard would be nicer as it retains a bit more bite than the spinach.A bit starchy for my taste but Otherwise very good and would make it again.

Useful 1
may 01, 2012 | I would make this recipe again

Made this today, with a few tweaks: -Used ham leftovers instead of bacon -I'm shy about using my cheap-o blender with hot food, so I used the potato masher. The result was a little chunky, but I don't have a problem with that. -I found it was pretty tasty even before adding the pasta, I don't think I'll even bother with it. Might make it too starchy anyway. End result was a rib-sticking pea soup-kind of thing that I think will sate the appetite just fine.

Useful 1
october 20, 2021 | I would make this recipe again

So easy to make and very tasty. I like how you can vary the final result to your personal tastes.

Useful 0

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