Looking for an easy Italian soup recipe? Try this vegan and celiac friendly chickpea soup from the central Italian region of Umbria.
This simple tasty recipe takes less than an hour and only uses one pot.
What more could you want?Jump to Recipe
Do you have a few cans of chickpeas in the cupboard for making hummus? Don’t want to go shopping and rather have something warm for lunch or dinner?
It’s my go to dish if we’re having a celiac or a vegetarian coming for dinner. For something extra I like to fry up some mushrooms and/or pancetta (bacon) to sprinkle on top.
As soup making goes, this one is pretty low maintenance. It’s a tasty, healthy treat you can make even if you’ve never made soup before.
This easy Italian Chickpea soup recipe is a classic Umbrian dish. So everyone has their own version.
My Umbrian mother in law likes to puree it till it’s smooth as silk and add some grilled shrimp on top as a garnish for a starter on Christmas eve.
While my Umbrian husband only blends it quickly, leaving some chickpeas whole and others in pieces to add texture. He also likes to add pasta if it’s for lunch, as he has pasta every day for lunch.
It’s simply a great soup if you’re short on time and energy. Or you’re not sure what to serve your friend who has lots of food restrictions.
A Versatile Vegan and Gluten Free Soup you can get creative with.
Mushrooms, shrimp, bacon all go well with the soup, and it helps to change it up. Traditionally pasta is added to the soup. And if you like spicy food, chili oil on top works very well.
The base is a few cans of chickpeas, some vegetable stock (but meat stock works as well) and some rosemary.
And it’s a great pasta dish if you’re looking for something different.
Fry up some mushrooms in garlic, make the soup thicker and place them on top. Or do the same with mushrooms and/or bacon. Whatever you’ve got or enjoy.
A Recipe for Umbrian Chickpea Soup
If you add the pasta it will serve 4 people, without it’s for two with leftovers.
- 600 ml vegetable stock
- 1 slice onion finely diced
- 800 grams chickpeas from a can
- 1 sprig rosemary fresh
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp pepper freshly cracked if possible
- 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- In a heavy bottom pot put olive oil and some cracked pepper.
- Once hot, add finely diced onion and the halved piece of garlic
- If using canned chickpeas, dump them out and rinse.
- When the onion is a light brown add the chickpeas. Fry them for 5 minutes at a medium heat.
- Add the vegetable (or meat) stock with the sprig of rosemary and let simmer for 20-30 minutes at a low heat.
- If you want a thicker soup keep the water that the chickpeas are sitting in in the cans/jars and add it as well.
- Remove the rosemary.
- Using a stick blender (or regular one) to get the consistancy you'd like. I like to have some chunks of chickpea left, but it's perfectly fine to make it as smooth as hummous.
- Want some pasta in the soup? After it has simmered for 20 minutes and you've blended it, add 2 or 3 tablespoons of the smallest pasta you have. Let it simmer for another 10 minutes or until pasta is cooked.
- Add any grilled mushrooms, shrimp or bacon that you'd like.
- Serve in bowls and drizzle with olive oil.
What you need for making this simple Italian soup:
- 600ml or 2 1/2 cups of stock (I use vegetable, but any meat stock would work)
- One thick slice of onion diced very finely (less than a quarter of an onion)
- 2 cans of 400g chickpeas, or soak dry ones the night before.
- A sprig of rosemary.
- A piece of garlic
- olive oil
- small pasta, like ditalini, if desired
- if you’d like: mushrooms, shrimp or bacon
How to Cook This Easy Italian Soup
In a heavy bottom pot put several tablespoons of olive oil and some cracked pepper. Once it’s hot add the finely chopped onion and the halved piece of garlic.
If the chickpeas are canned, dump them out and rinse them. *keep the liquid in the can if you want a thicker soup and plan on blending it completely*
Once they’ve slightly browned add all the chickpeas.
Leave them to fry for around 5 minutes on medium heat.
Add the vegetable (or meat) stock with the sprig of rosemary and let simmer for 20-30 minutes covered on a low heat. *This is when you should add the chickpea liquid if you plan on using it*
Once it’s been cooking for 20-30 minutes throw out/compost the rosemary and blend lightly with a stick blender. I really enjoy it with some whole chickpeas and chunks of chickpea left, but when it’s smooth and thicker you can add the shrimp/mushrooms/bacon on top and they won’t sink down.
A drizzle of oil for decoration and flavour.
Want to add pasta? After simmering for 20 minutes blend as much as you’d like. Add 2-4 tablespoons of the smallest pasta you have and let simmer for another 10 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked.
What about trying other dishes from Umbria Italy?
Since you’ve saved a bit of time on dinner, why not try baking the classic crostata which you’ll find all over Italy. All you need is flour, butter, an egg and jam. Find the recipe here, with other quick authentic Italian dishes.
Did you enjoy the recipe? Did you find it easy, quick and tasty? What other dishes did you enjoy in Italy that you can’t find a recipe for? Leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org