It's a chilly night and you're running late, but you don't want takeout. To the rescue is this delicious, meatless soup that can be on the table in a half hour, start to finish.
1 tbs olive oil
Small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste (red pepper flakes optional)
15 oz can chickpeas
Piece of rind from parmesan cheese plus 1 oz, grated
4 cups chicken broth ( vegetable may be substituted)
2 oz small pasta, like ditalini
8 oz fresh baby spinach ( I remove stems)
Drain and rinse chickpeas. Place in soup pot and bring to boil. Boil while you complete the rest of the prep. Boiling will render the chickpeas soft. If you prefer them hard, skip this step. Drain and set aside chickpeas when you are ready to assemble soup.
Heat oil in the soup pot. Add the onion and garlic and saute about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
Add chickpeas, stock, and rind and bring to a hard boil. Add the pasta and cook 6-8 minutes.
Add the spinach and correct seasoning, if needed. Cook about 5 minutes. Remove rind.
Serve with grated parmesan.
Don't let the simplicity of the ingredients fool you. This soup is incredibly flavorful. The cheese rind transforms the broth and there is a perfect balance of broth to vegetable to pasta. This is a keeper.