Comforting, flavorful and nourishing – this easy Chickpea Soup recipe only requires 10 minutes of prep and one pot! This hearty (yet healthy!) Italian chickpea soup features plump garbanzo beans, fresh vegetables, and tender pasta in a luscious tomato broth! If you love delicious and simple Italian soups, like Minestrone and Tuscan Bean Soup, this comforting Pasta e Ceci is sure to quickly become a family favorite!
Continue to read on for easy ways to customize this chickpea noodle soup, plus comprehensive tips for storing and freezing it too! And, don’t miss the in-depth step by step photos and video tutorial included in the post!
Update: This post was originally published in January 2021. I made updates to the post below to include more information about tomato soup with chickpeas! Plus, I’ve added a step-by-step recipe tutorial video to show you exactly how easy it is to make ceci bean soup at home!
Hi, friends! Are you in need of a hearty, yet healthy vegetable soup you and your family will love?! Well, look no more, because this colorful chickpea soup is nutritious, beyond delicious and guaranteed to please!
Easy Chickpea Soup: recipe overview
This healthy chickpea soup is light, yet filling and bursting with robust Italian flavors! Garbanzo bean soup features plump chickpeas, tender pasta, fresh vegetables and aromatic seasonings in a savory, rich, tomato broth! Generously topped with deliciously crispy chickpeas, sharp parmesan cheese and plenty of herbaceous, bright herbs, this rustic Italian soup is chock-full of chunky texture and cozy flavors!
But, this Italian bean soup isn’t just downright delicious, it’s also incredibly simple to prepare and made with easy to find, budget-friendly ingredients! Plus, it’s made entirely in one pot and only requires 10 minutes of hands on preparation! It’s the perfect vegetable noodle soup when your craving something comforting or feeling under the weather, but want to keep things easy and healthy!
Why you will love this recipe
- Economical + Pantry Ingredients! This chickpea recipe uses easy to find ingredients and affordable pantry staples!
- Quick to prepare! This chickpeas soup only requires 10 minutes of hands-on prep!
- One Pot! Because home cooking doesn’t need to involve a million dishes!
- Flavorful! Comforting, warming and ultra-flavorful, this restaurant-quality pasta e ceci soup is perfect for chilly nights!
- Nutritious! This garbanzo soup is chock-full of good-for-you-ingredients and nutrients – there’s plenty of legumes and fresh vegetables!
- Easy heat-and-eat meal! This chickpea noodle soup stores great and packs well for work lunches or easy heat-and-eat dinners!
- Toppings! Soup toppings are the perfect way customize your Italian chickpea soup with your final touch! While I love the crispy chickpea topping, you can customize this simple chickpea soup with whatever extras you love, such as thick ribbons of fresh parmesan, perfectly-crisp homemade croutons, or salty, hand-crushed crackers!
What is chickpea soup?
Chickpea soup is an Italian soup commonly made of garbanzo beans and pasta, along with various fresh vegetables, such as celery and tomatoes, in a hearty, flavorful broth. This Italian chickpea soup is vegetable-heavy and a great way to use up whatever leftover veggies you may already have on hand, such as onions, carrots, bell peppers and greens!
Ceci beans (chickpeas or garbanzos) and pasta are a classic combination in Italian cuisine! In fact, this rustic pasta stew is also known as pasta e ceci or pasta e ceci soup, depending upon who you ask!
What’s garbanzo bean soup made of?
This easy chickpea soup is healthy, flavorful and incredibly warming! This canned chickpea recipe relies on 10 simple ingredients (plus a few pantry staples!) to create a soup that will soothe your soul!
Ingredients in chickpea soup recipe
- Oil: You need a good-quality olive oil to crisp the chickpeas and sauté the vegetables.
- Garbanzo Beans: You will need chickpeas for this Italian garbanzo bean soup! You can use dried chickpeas or two (15-ounce) cans chickpeas. If using dry chickpeas, you will need to soak and cook them prior to making this ceci soup! If using canned chickpeas, I recommend using low- or no-sodium chickpeas!
- Vegetables: Fresh onions, carrots, and celery (known as a mirepoix) create a base of fresh flavor.
- Garlic: Use fresh cloves of garlic, and not the minced variety sold in a jar, for a superior taste!!
- Spices: Classic Italian seasonings, such as dried oregano, basil, crushed red pepper flakes, bay leaf, kosher salt and black pepper, give the chickpea broth a ton of flavor!
- Tomatoes: A combination of crushed and fire-roasted tomatoes adds an earthy, rich tomato flavor. For the best tasting chickpea tomato soup, I highly recommend using San Marzano variety tomatoes.
- Stock: No-sodium chicken or vegetable stock makes up the flavorful broth-y base of this Italian pasta soup. (You can chicken broth if you prefer!)
- Rind: One parmesan rind infuses so much rich flavor into this simple chickpea soup recipe! Tip: Purchase a tub of rinds and store them in the freezer to have on hand for soups, stews and sauces!
- Small Pasta: This pasta ceci soup calls for 8 ounces of small dry pasta. I like to use ditalini pasta! However, elbow, small shell and orecchiette work great too!
- Parmesan: 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese adds a layer of complex flavor to your chickpea stew. Use authentic Parmesan Reggiano or aged parmesan and grate it yourself for the best taste!
Want to make some changes or additions to this Italian chickpea soup? No problem! I encourage you to make this legume soup your own! Get creative in the kitchen – eliminate ingredients you don’t like and add ones you love! Below are a few ideas to help get you started!
How to customize this Italian chickpea recipe
- Bacon: If your family loves meat, add some crispy bacon to your chickpeas soup! Simply chop up a few slices of bacon and cook until crispy! Remove the bacon from the pan and use the bacon fat to fry the chickpeas in the first step of the recipe!
- Shallots: If you prefer a slightly sweeter onion flavor swap out the yellow onion and use shallots instead!
- Peppers: Switch things up and substitute bell peppers for the carrots! (Fun fact: Onion, peppers and celery are known as the holy trinity in Cajun and Creole cuisine!)
- Leafy Greens: You can easily add greens to this chickpea parmesan soup! Just add a few handfuls of baby spinach to the pot during the last couple minutes of cooking! (Tip: You will need to add more stock/broth or reduce the amount of pasta!)
- Chicken: Stir in shredded rotisserie chicken during the last few minutes of cooking to transform this vegetarian chickpea soup into a more substantial meal! (Note: You will need to add more stock/broth or reduce the amount of noodles!)
- Soup thickness: This chickpea vegetable soup is very thick and hearty – similar to a stew! You can make the chickpea broth thinner by adding additional stock or broth, or you can reduce the amount of pasta!
- Low-carb: If you are looking for a low-carb chickpeas recipe just omit the pasta and use more vegetables and/or chickpeas!
- Vegetarian: For vegetarian chickpea soup, swap out the stock for vegetable broth!
- Dairy Free/Vegan: To make vegan chickpea soup, use vegetable broth and swap out the cheese rind for vegan parmesan!
- Gluten Free: For gluten-free chickpea soup, simply use your favorite gluten-free small pasta!
Is chickpea soup healthy?
This garbanzo bean vegetable soup is low in calories and fat, and high in fiber and flavor! It contains beans, broth, tomatoes, a variety of low-calorie vegetables, along with pasta. Depending upon your diet and nutritional needs, this Italian soup with chickpeas can be a healthy addition to your diet!
- Chickpeas: Chickpeas are a nutrient-dense food with a low-calorie density! They’re rich in protein, fiber, minerals, such as magnesium and potassium, and vitamins A, E and C! They are high in plant-based protein which makes them a wonderful substitute for meat! The fiber in chickpeas helps promote fullness by slowing digestion.
- Carrots: Carrots are highly nutritious! They’re a wonderful source of beta carotene, fiber, potassium and antioxidants. As well, just a half cup of carrots will fulfill 73% of your daily requirement of vitamin A and 9% of vitamin K.
- Celery: Celery is a low-calorie food that is full of health benefits! It’s a great source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients! Plus, celery is rich in minerals, such as potassium and folate, and vitamins A, K, and C!
- Tomatoes: While you may think canned tomatoes won’t provide any health benefits, that can’t be further from the truth! Tomatoes in a can are a better source of the antioxidant lycopene than fresh ones! Lycopene has been shown to help lower the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer and muscular degeneration!
- Stock or Broth: Both stock and broth are nutrient-dense and provide a wide variety of nutrients! It’s important to note that stock has the added benefit of collagen, which helps promote a healthy immune system!
How many calories in chickpea soup?
The exact number of calories and carbohydrates in homemade garbanzo bean soup will depend upon the precise measurements and brands of ingredients used. This chickpea soup recipe serves 8 and has approximately 425 calories and 60 grams of carbohydrates per serving (1 serving = 2 cups).
What to serve with vegetable soup?
This Italian vegetable soup is hearty enough to be served as a stand-alone meal! However, you can also serve pasta and chickpea soup as a starter (appetizer) or as an accompaniment (side dish) to a lighter entrée! Below are some of my favorite side dishes to round out and complement this Italian meal!
9 perfect soup side dishes
- Bread: Broth-y homemade soup begs for some sort of bread for sopping! Rolls, biscuits, garlic bread and crusty artisanal bread are all totally satisfying!
- Side Salad: A simple side salad is always a great partner for soup! Spinach, kale, Caesar and Italian salads are a few of my favorites! Or, use your favorite greens and add whatever vegetables you have hanging around your refrigerator!
- Sandwich: A crisp warm sandwich, such as a panini or grilled cheese pair fantastically with chickpea tomato soup!
- Seasonal Vegetables: Roasted, sautéed, braised or steamed vegetables are a great way to add an extra serving of vegetables to your table!
- Mushrooms: Try roasting or sautéing fresh mushrooms for a comforting, meaty (yet meatless!) vegetarian side!
- Fries: Try switching things up and serve your pasta ceci with fries! Traditional French fries are delicious! However, sweet potato and zucchini fries are amazing too!
- Potatoes: While they aren’t a traditional pairing, potatoes are a hearty and delicious side option for this chickpea and vegetable soup! My favorite is baked potatoes, but sweet potatoes, smashed potatoes and roast potatoes are all great too!
- Sausages: This ceci pasta pairs so well with Italian sausages! Fire up the grill or roast a few sausages to add more protein to your Italian dinner!
- Chicken: Rotisserie chicken is a quick and easy option that boosts plenty of protein!
How to make chickpea soup at home?
This simple chickpea soup recipe is so easy to make at home! Plus, this garbanzo bean soup only requires 15 minutes of hands-on preparation and it’s made in just one pot!
(Don’t forget to scroll down for the detailed instructions in the complete printable recipe at the bottom of the page.)
- Crisp chickpeas: Heat oil in a large pot . Add 1 cup of chickpeas and cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy. Remove the chickpeas to a plate and season generously with salt. Set aside.
- Sauté vegetables: Heat oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the carrots, celery, salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables begin to soften.
- Add the beans & aromatics: Add the remaining chickpeas, garlic, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes. Stir to coat. Cook until the beans are lightly golden, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add liquids: Add stock, scrapping up any brown bits stuck on the bottom of the pan. Stir in both types of tomatoes, bay leaves and parmesan rind. Bring to a rapid simmer and immediately reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 4 minutes.
- Add pasta: Add the pasta and return the soup to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking, until the pasta is almost al dente, about 10 minutes.
- Finish soup: Use tongs to remove and discard bay leaves and parmesan rind. Stir in parmesan. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. For a broth-y soup, add more stock or broth as desired.
- Serve: Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with crispy chickpeas, more parmesan, fresh herbs and plenty of black pepper. Serve and enjoy!
Cooking garbanzo bean soup: step-by-step photos
Below you will find a picture collage showing you exactly how to make this garbanzo bean stew, step by step! You can find the full recipe in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post!
Tips for storing and freezing chickpea vegetable soup
Food safety is important when it comes to storing pasta soup leftovers! Follow the simple tips below for properly storing, freezing and reheating this garbanzo bean vegetable soup!
How to store soup?
Allow leftover chick peas soup to cool completely at room temperature before storing. Once cool, transfer the Italian chickpea stew to an airtight storage container.
How long will Italian chickpea soup last?
Properly stored, ceci soup will keep well for 4-5 days in the refrigerator.
How to reheat leftovers?
Leftover chickpea soup makes a wonderful heat-and-eat meal! You can reheat this leftover chickpea veggie soup two different ways, depending upon your preference!
Pro-Tip: As your leftovers sit, the pasta will soak up the flavorful chickpea broth! Simply add some chicken stock or vegetable broth to thin the soup before reheating!
- Stovetop: Transfer leftover soup to a medium saucepan or large pot. Reheat over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until warm throughout. Avoid cooking the soup for too long or over too high a heat as it will overcook the pasta!
- Microwave: Add an individual portion of leftover Italian pasta soup to a microwave-safe container. Place the lid on the container, leaving the lid slightly cracked at the side to form a vent. Reheat for 1-minute intervals, stirring in between, until the soup is warm throughout.
Can you freeze chickpea noodle soup?
Storing homemade garbanzo bean soup in the freezer is a great way to save time and money! However, there are a few simple precautions and easy techniques that are key to successfully freezing soup! Follow the guide below for properly storing this soup in the freezer.
To freeze pasta e ceci soup
- Hold the pasta: Pasta does not freeze well, as it turns to mush after thawing and reheating! Therefore, you will need to freeze the soup WITHOUT the pasta! Simply make the chickpea soup recipe as instructed, leaving out the Italian pasta completely, and then freeze. When ready to eat, defrost and heat the leftover soup. Boil dry pasta until just al dente and then add it directly to the warm soup!
- Chill prior to freezing: To keep your food safe, you must allow your chickpea soup to cool to room temperature before storing it in the freezer! Tip: To speed up the chilling process, place the container of soup in an ice bath. Stir the soup frequently to allow the heat to escape.
- Leave 1-inch of headspace: Soup expands as it freezes, so leave about 1-inch of headspace between the surface of the soup and the container’s lid. If you fill the container to the brim, there’s a good chance it will break or crack open after the soup freezes. Likewise, don’t leave too much space! Too much space allows air into your container which can cause freezer burn.
- Containers: This may sound obvious, but make sure you are using an airtight, freezer-safe container for storing your chickpeas soup!
- Storage: Chickpea celery soup will keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- To prepare: When ready to use, thaw the soup in the refrigerator overnight. Transfer the Italian soup to a large saucepan and reheat over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until warm throughout. Stir in the freshly cooked pasta (see tip #1), serve and enjoy!
Insanely easy to prepare, made entirely in just one pot and bursting with Italian flavor, this is the ultimate chickpea soup!!
More easy Italian soup recipes!
If you love this vegetable soup with chickpeas, try one of these delicious recipes next:
- Chicken Tortellini Soup (a quick and easy weeknight favorite!)
- Italian Sausage Soup (a must for Italian sausage lovers!)
- Chicken Wild Rice Soup (thick, decadent and made in the slow cooker!)
- Tuscan Bean Soup (a tried-and-true fan favorite!)
The best Chickpea Soup recipe👇
- Large Pot or Saucepan
- 4 1/2 TBS Good Quality Olive Oil - DIVIDED
- 2 (15 ounce) cans Garbanzo Beans (chickpeas) – drained, rinsed & patted dry; DIVIDED
- 1 large Yellow Onion – small dice (about 2 cups)
- 2 large Carrots – peeled and small dice (about 1 ¼ cup)
- 2 large Ribs Celery – small dice (about 1 ¼ cup)
- Kosher Salt & Ground Black Pepper
- 3-4 cloves Garlic – thinly sliced
- 1 TBS Italian Seasoning (or 1 1/2 teaspoons EACH: Dried Oregano & Dried Basil)
- ½ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 (28-ounce can) Crushed Tomatoes
- 1 (14-ounce) can Fire-Roasted Tomatoes
- 6-7 Cups No-Sodium Vegetable or Chicken Stock (or Broth)
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 Parmesan Rind
- 8 ounces Ditalini Pasta (Or other small pasta of choice - elbow, small shell, orecchiette, fusilli)
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan – plus more for garnish
- Optional for garnish: Fresh parsley, fresh basil
- Crisp chickpeas (Optional- See notes): Heat 1 ½ tablespoons of oil in a large pot or saucepan over MEDIUM-HIGH heat. Add 1 cup of chickpeas and stir to coat in oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes, or until chickpeas are crispy. Turn off heat and use a slotted spoon to remove the chickpeas to a paper towel lined plate. Season generously with salt and set aside.
- Sauté vegetables: Turn heat to MEDIUM and add the remaining 3 TBS of olive oil - heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and season with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the beans & aromatics: Add the remaining chickpeas, garlic, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Stir to coat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the beans are lightly golden, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add liquids: Add 6 cups of stock, scrapping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Stir in both types of tomatoes, bay leaves and parmesan rind. Increase heat to high and bring to a rapid simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook for 4 minutes.
- Add pasta: Add the pasta and return the soup to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat as needed to maintain a rapid simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking, until the pasta is ALMOST al dente, about 9-11 minutes, depending on the type of pasta.
- Finish soup: Reduce heat to LOW and use tongs to remove and discard bay leaves and parmesan rind. Stir in grated parmesan. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. For a broth-y soup, add more stock or broth as desired. NOTE: Pasta will continue to soak up the flavorful liquid as it sits. Add more stock or broth as needed.
- Serve: Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with crispy chickpeas, more parmesan, fresh herbs and plenty of black pepper. Serve and enjoy!
- Chickpeas: If you don't want to crisp chickpeas, skip step 1 of the recipe. Add all the chickpeas to the pot in step 3. You may need to add more stock/broth to thin the soup in step 6.
Recipe Yields: Approximately 16 cups Nutritional information is an approximation based upon 8 servings (2 cups per serving). Exact information will depend upon the brands of ingredients and precise measurements used.