Full bellies, full hearts? Italian Chickpea Soup delivers on both fronts. Chock full of hardy garbanzos and a medley of other veggies, this gluten-free spin on a classic is loaded with plant-based protein, and works year round as a main or a side. Don't skimp on the garnish!
128-oz cancrushed tomatoesfire roasted if available
214-oz canschickpeasrinsed and drained
½tspkosher saltmore to taste
½tspground peppermore to taste
2heaping cupsbaby spinach
Fresh basiltorn, for serving
Finely shredded parmesan cheesefor serving, see notes
Heat a dutch oven or large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the oil and heat until it shimmers.Add the onion, carrots, and celery and saute, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and the onion is translucent, 9-10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.
Add the tomato paste and work into the vegetables. Continue cooking until the color deepens, 2-3 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, 2 cups broth, chickpeas, italian seasoning, and ½ tsp each salt and pepper. Give everything a good stir and bring the liquid to a simmer. Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer, then cook 10 minutes to meld the flavors. Cook up to 30 minutes covered. If the soup is too thick or you’d prefer a brothier consistency, add more broth (up to 2 additional cups). I used 2.5 c broth total.
Stir in the spinach and cook until just barely wilted, 1-2 minutes.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with basil and parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
ADD MORE FLAVOR: If you have one, add a parmesan cheese rind to the broth. Simmer the soup at least 20 minutes to allow the flavor to infuse the broth. Discard the rind before serving.
VEGAN: skip the parmesan cheese, or sprinkle with nutritional yeast.
FRIDGE: Store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
FREEZER: Freeze in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight, then reheat over a medium flame on the stove, or in the microwave in 30-6o second intervals, stirring in-between.