This hearty vegetarian Spring Minestrone Soup with Chickpeas is full of healthy spring vegetables – a meal unto itself. Make a big pot of it and warm it up for lunch during the week. It’s a nod to the Palouse region of our state, featuring Pacific Northwest grown chickpeas which give the soup its heft.
Early spring vegetables like asparagus, peas, fennel, broccoli and give the soup its vibrant green color, while fresh tarragon adds unique flavor. Play around with the vegetables and make it your own, taking special care not to overcook them. If going gluten-free, rice or quinoa are great substitutions for the pasta. Keep the soup vegan or vegetarian, or use a flavorful chicken stock for extra depth.
At home, we love this soup topped with crunchy homemade croutons – cubes of bread quickly seared in a pan with a little garlic infused olive oil. Add a dollop of sour cream, a drizzle of good quality olive oil, or a bit of finely grated romano cheese for some extra richness, then sprinkle with fresh tarragon or Italian parsley for the finishing touch.
If using dry beans, make sure to soak them first – the soup will come together much quicker and easier.
I am back from my trip to Italy and will be posting some pictures and recipes soon! Can’t wait to share some of the incredible food we had there.
Spring Vegetable and Chickpea Minestrone- (serves 8)
Spring Minestrone with Chickpeas- (serves 8)
Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home Blog
Recipe type: Soup and Stews
- Spring Vegetable and Chickpea Minestrone- (serves 8)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion - diced
- 1 cup chopped fennel bulb or celery
- 5 garlic cloves - minced
- 4 cups flavorful stock - chicken or veggie
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 2 cups soaked garbanzo beans (1 cup dry, soaked in water over night, or use canned)
- 4 ounces pasta (like little elbows, orzo, mini shells, penne)
- 4 cups finely chopped green veggies (any combination of broccoli, green beans, spring peas, kale, asparagus, peas, cauliflower)
- 1 cup chopped scallions
- ¼ cup fresh tarragon
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice, more to taste
- garnish options: finely grated Romano cheese, dollop of sour cream or drizzle of good olive oil, tarragon, crunchy homemade croutons made in a skillet, fresh herbs
- In a large pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat.
- Add onion and fennel and saute 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
- Turn heat to medium and cook for 5 more minute or until tender.
- Add garlic, cook 2-3 more minutes.
- Add stock, water, spices and salt and the soaked chickpeas and bring to a boil.
- Cover and simmer on medium low for 20 minutes or until chickpeas are tender.
- Add pasta, bring to a boil, and when the pasta is about ½ way cooked, add the vegetables.
- (You don't want to cook the veggies too long, or they will loose their beautiful green color)
- When pasta is cooked and veggies are just tender and bright green, stir in scallions and tarragon.
- Add the lemon juice a tablespoon at a time, tasting.
- Serve in small bowls and garnish with more tarragon, grated Romano, or a dollop of sour cream. Croutons add a nice texture too.