Chickpea Noodle Soup

March 24, 2021
8 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg. Prop Stylist: Amanda Widis. Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog.
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Serves 2 to 4
Author Notes

In a restaurant kitchen, toward the end of service, when the bulk of the hustle and bustle has settled and the cleaning has begun, someone goes through the walk-in cooler: organizing, consolidating, putting ingredients back in their rightful home. What needs to be used up? What do we need more of?

I almost never do this in my home fridge. The other day, as I finally took a dive into the crisper drawer, I found one stray rutabaga, two parsnips, three lemon halves, and five sprigs of thyme. I bought all of those things because I was excited to use them, but they fell away, forgotten.

For me, the easiest way to eat more vegetables is to have an abundance on hand, but not let them languish in the fridge. If you have a few carrots and celery stalks, don’t give into the temptation to buy parsnips and rutabagas—use up what’s around first. This recipe will help.

I call for a variety of vegetables, but don’t make a special trip to the store if you’re missing one or two. Embrace substitutions. The combination of protein-rich chickpeas and starchy noodles give this hearty vegan soup body. Using miso or liquid aminos adds salt and depth of flavor—if you don’t have either on hand, salt the soup as you normally would or add a splash of soy sauce instead. This recipe is flexible and, like most soups, benefits from a rest overnight so the flavors can meld, though I am rarely that patient. —abraberens

Test Kitchen Notes

Every month, in Eat Your Vegetables, chef, Ruffage cookbook author, and former farmer Abra Berens shares a seasonal recipe that puts vegetables front and center (where they should be!). Missed an installment? Head here to catch up. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 sprigs thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon herbs de Provence)
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 leek, sliced thinly and rinsed of dirt (or skip if you don’t have one)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons white miso (or liquid aminos)
  • 2 carrots, peeled (or scrubbed) and diced
  • 2 medium parsnips, peeled and diced (or swap in sweet potato)
  • 1 medium rutabaga, peeled and diced (or swap in turnips)
  • 1 small celeriac head, peeled and diced (or 3 stalks celery, sliced thinly)
  • 2 cups (or one 16-ounce can) cooked chickpeas
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • Zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 10 sprigs parsley, roughly chopped
  • 4 ounces pappardelle or fettuccini
  1. In a soup pot, heat a glug of olive oil over medium heat. Add the thyme (or herbs de Provence) and briefly fry, 10 to 15 seconds.
  2. Add the onion, leek, and garlic, plus a big pinch of salt, and reduce heat to medium-low. Sweat the mixture until soft, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add the white wine and reduce by half.
  4. Dissolve the miso into 8 cups of water. If it doesn’t blend completely, don’t worry, it will as the soup simmers—this just helps it along.
  5. Add the root vegetables, chickpeas, and miso water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, in a small frying pan, lightly toast the red pepper flakes over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  7. In a separate bowl, combine 1/2 cup of olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, and a pinch of salt. Add the warm red pepper to the mixture.
  8. When the vegetables are tender, taste and adjust the salt as desired. Add the pasta and simmer until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
  9. Divide the soup into 4 bowls and top with a hefty spoonful of the parsley relish.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Stacy_With_A_Why
  • Colette Connors
    Colette Connors
  • Cfreeland9999
  • eatveggiesdrinkwine
Abra Berens is a chef, author, and former vegetable farmer. She started cooking at Zingerman's Deli, trained at Ballymaloe in Cork, Ireland. Find her at Granor Farm in Three Oaks, MI. Her first two cookbooks Ruffage and Grist are out now. The third Pulp: a practical guide to cooking with fruit publishes on April 4th, 2023.

6 Reviews

Stacy_With_A_Why October 21, 2023
This was so good. I do have a caveat, though. I did substitute a few ingredients to what I had on hand (and I really really don't like parsnips). I used red wine instead of white and substituted potatoes and additional chickpeas for the parsnips, rutabaga, and celeriac. Plus, I used a smaller pasta (rotini) since I am not a fan of long pasta in hot soup. I was concerned that not using stock would mean a soup without depth of flavor, but this had the flavor and so much more. The umami of the miso kicked it out of the park. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a nice comfort meal on a chilly evening. It does take a bit of time to get everything ready and to cook, but after the first time making, it will become a quicker soup to make.
Cfreeland9999 September 26, 2022
This was delicious! It’s a bit time/consuming because of all the vegetable prep and chopping. I used some fresh ginger slices and rosemary plus bay leaf to add more flavor. My veggies were leeks, onions, sweet potato, carrots, and a turnip. We had it at our vegan Rosh Hashanah dinner and everyone loved it. Oh, and I used farfalle for the pasta. They’re cute. Thank you! The parsley relish is a nice flavorful touch.
Colette C. January 6, 2022
A half cup of olive oil seems like a lot for 2-3 servings of soup! I would saute the red pepper flakes with a small amount of oil, add lemon juice and parsley and that's it.
eatveggiesdrinkwine January 5, 2022
Please do not skip the parsley relish (though in my case it ended up being spinach relish)--it totally makes the soup! I didn't have miso so I needed to use a lot of salt and a little soy sauce to get the broth to a flavorful point, and the relish elevated it immensely. Next round I'll add more thyme and some rosemary and bay leaves. As the author says, the recipe is a great base to use whatever you have on hand.
Stacy_With_A_Why October 21, 2023
I agree about the relish - it was the perfect accompaniment to top the soup.
nicool January 4, 2022
Not sure if I used the wrong brand of miso, but I ended up using about 2x as much (4 generous Tbsp) plus a couple tsp of veggie better than bouillon. I found the recipe broth as written to be bland and watery. Otherwise, loved this take on veggie noodle soup.