We’re in the midst of a cold snap. It snowed yesterday, our first in over two years! I watched big fat snowflakes fall from the sky like confetti; I’d forgotten how exciting that felt.
Even my mom was impressed (and nothing impresses that woman!), she looked on pleasingly, training her phone at the mountains, she said, “Mmmmm hmmm, the mountains are properly capped, now this is Canada!”
For someone accustomed to the sweltering cloudless African sky, I’ve also always loved bitter cold weather (feel free to make Frozen jokes!), I’ll take the cold over mild pissing-rainy conditions any day. And for freezing wintry nights, nothing beats a steaming comforting bowl of soup to warm you up. We’ve been wishing for an ideal moment like this to make this hearty chickpea and pasta soup.
This soup is a vegetarian iteration of a chicken and pasta soup my aunt D makes. Living in a perpetually rainy city on the west coast of Norway, she has an impressive collection of cold-weather soup recipes, and thankfully, she’s happy to share them with me.
There’s a simpler way to make this soup – which is the way she makes it, but you’ll have to have a few items prepared beforehand. First you make a big pot of broth you plan to use over the week or freeze. Then warm up enough for dinner when you’re ready, add some precooked chickpea and pasta, and fresh vegetables (carrots, broccoli etc.) and bring to a boil and until veggies are tender.
I prefer my version though, it’s fluid and just as simple, and comes together quickly in one pot. I fry the spices in oil first to make them toasty and fragrant, deepening the flavour. I just build on the flavours from there. I cook my own chickpea and use the liquid instead of vegetable broth. The pasta cooks in the soup, which I finish off with greens – chard or kale works great.
It’s perfectly hearty and warming, and it’s going to be wonderful for the next couple of dinners, although I’m sure this unusual cold weather won’t last.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
- 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 medium-sized carrots, chopped
- 1 28oz can diced tomatoes (about 3 cups)
- 4 cups (32oz) vegetable broth or liquid from chickpea if you cooked them yourself, plus more as desired
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 cup dry (short) pasta (I used kamut vegetable rotini)
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste (adjust accordingly if chickpea and broth have salt)
- 1 bunch of rainbow chard or kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
- Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a heavy large pot
- Add cumin, sweet paprika and turmeric, let spices cook in the oil for about a minute, until it gets fragrant
- Add onions and garlic sauté for 2 – 4 minutes, stirring often until it becomes soft and translucent
- Add carrots and tomatoes and cook stirring often for another 2 – 3 minutes
- Add broth (or chickpea liquid or water), increase heat slightly and bring to a boil
- Add chickpea and pasta, bring soup back to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes or until pasta is almost al dente
- Add salt, check seasoning and toss in chopped chard or kale
- Reduce heat and let soup simmer for 5 – 6 minutes
- Serve warm ladled into bowls with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly ground black pepper
[Tweet “A perfectly hearty and warming chickpea and pasta soup for those #cold wintry nights… #vegan “]
haha! funny and awesome post. I’m hungry all over again.10 December, 2016 at 3:46 pm
Thank you! I’m glad my magic is working you.:-)15 December, 2016 at 3:17 pm
E, I have decided one of my new years goals is to change up my photography a little bit. Use more vibrant colours inspired by you. What my space.11 December, 2016 at 11:09 am
Wow Bintu, I just visited your blog. Lovely! So beautiful!11 December, 2016 at 8:00 pm
Oh yes, you’re in for a treat KK! I live for Bintu’s lovely blog!15 December, 2016 at 3:20 pm
I can’t wait B! I do love how clean and crisp your photos are lately.15 December, 2016 at 3:18 pm
Lucky you, we did not have snow yet and I’d love it to come. The pasta soup looks great.12 December, 2016 at 1:22 am
Thanks Marta! hope you get snow soon… fingers crossed for a white Christmas!15 December, 2016 at 3:21 pm
I chuckle when I read “nothing impresses that woman!” I think OUR mothers might be related 🙂14 December, 2016 at 10:21 am
I love the kind of family recipe, such as this one, as it gives me a sense of warm, happiness and kindness from generation to generation. I will choose soup over sweet anytime even during this holiday seasons, and your Aunty D’S recipe is one I will definitely want to make anytime of the year. 🙂
Hahaha Pang, They are probably related, isn’t life with a mom who isn’t easily impressed a riot? I love, love your words, it’s everything the soup is that I couldn’t put into words. Thank you!15 December, 2016 at 3:51 pm
This looks so yummy! It’s actually very similar to a version my mom makes but I’ll have to try yours! Love the Swiss chard and tumeric additions. Delish!16 December, 2016 at 8:40 pm