To celebrate World Pulses Day, I chose my absolute favorite pulse: The chickpea — or ceci in Italian.
“Pulses” (legumes like beans, peas, and lentils) are a great environmentally-friendly source of protein.
The US Dry Bean Council is helping to honor the small, but mighty pulse. Beans are good for not only us, but also the planet. This superfood plays a critical role in sustainable food production and has been proven to help prevent cancer, manage sugar levels, and increase energy.
I absolutely love cooking with beans, especially chickpeas.
Like all beans, chickpeas are an excellent source of plant-based protein. Rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and nutrients, chickpeas are inexpensive and easy to add to your diet. Not to mention, they are delicious.
How to Make Chickpea Soup
To make this Slow-Cooker Italian Chickpea Soup, we will combine dried chickpeas that were soaked overnight with onion, carrot, celery, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and chicken stock. You can absolutely use vegetable stock to keep this recipe vegetarian or vegan (without the cheese).
Fragrant herbs, such as thyme and rosemary, will also be added to the chickpea soup along with flaky sea salt, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Orecchiette pasta and tender Tuscan kale will be added to the soup during its last half hour of simmering.
To serve, we’ll top the soup with a generous spoonful of grated Parmesan and a bit more lemon.
This soup is hearty and satisfying, while remaining very light and healthy.
Why Soak Chickpeas Overnight
Soaking chickpeas (or beans in general) overnight softens them and makes them more easy to digest.
To soak chickpeas overnight, place them in a large bowl covered with cold water. The water should cover the top of the chickpeas by at least two to three inches. The chickpeas will expand and triple in size as they soak.
I like to soak beans overnight or for up to 12 hours, but soaking a minimum of eight hours is best.
You will need to drain and rinse the beans before using.
I hope that you make and enjoy this Slow-Cooker Italian Chickpea Soup! Check out US Dry Beans Council and World Pulses Day to learn more ways you can incorporate beans and other pulses into your diet.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4-1/2 hours
Total Time: 4 hours, 45 minutes
Yield: 10 servings
This hearty and healthy Italian Chickpea Soup is full of vegetables, fiber, and nutrients and is easily made in your slow-cooker