Chickpea and Cavatelli Soup

This chickpea and cavatelli soup recipe is an easy Italian pasta soup that makes for a satisfying supper tossed together from pantry staples.

Two white bowls filled with chickpea and cavatelli soup on white napkin with spoons.

This chickpea and cavatelli soup is a substantial one-pot meal that’s quick enough to throw together on a weeknight yet tastes like it simmered all weekend. It’s an incredibly satisfying combination of chickpeas and pasta simmered in vegetable broth and gilded with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. It’s actually quite a lot more substantial than the term “soup” would lead one to believe. Consider it somewhere between a pasta and a soup. We have a name for that. It’s “divine.”–Angie Zoobkoff


Cavatelli are small pasta shells that are traditionally made with an eggless semolina dough. Common in southern Italy, cavatelli are chewy in a spectacularly satisfying way and used in myriad ways, including ragu and bolognese and, as in this recipe, soup. You’ll find them either dried or fresh but frozen in some specialty stores. You can easily swap another small pasta shape for the cavatelli in this recipe.

Chickpea and Cavatelli Soup

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 45 M
  • Serves 4 to 6
Print RecipeBuy the Saveur: Italian Comfort Food cookbook

Want it? Click it.



Heat the oil in a 6-quart (6.8-liter) saucepan over medium heat. Toss in the celery, carrot, onion, and rosemary and cook until soft, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the stock and half the chickpeas to the pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Use an immersion blender to purée everything in the saucepan until smooth or let the mixture cool for 10 minutes and then carefully transfer it to a blender and purée in batches until smooth. Return the blended mixture to the saucepan.

Bring the soup to a simmer over medium heat and add the remaining chickpeas and the pasta to the soup and cook until the pasta is al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. (The best way to check the pasta for doneness is to taste it.) If a thinner soup is desired, add more broth as needed. Season with salt and pepper. Divvy the soup among bowls and serve with a sprinkle of parsley and Parmigiano. You can cover and refrigerate any leftovers as the soup tastes terrific the next day, but will likely thicken as it sits in the fridge, so you may need to add more vegetable broth when rewarming it over low heat.

Print RecipeBuy the Saveur: Italian Comfort Food cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

This chickpea and cavatelli soup is a wonderfully homey dish, halfway between pasta and soup. It is also a recipe that can be very flexible, depending on the amount of time you have. As written, it’s a super-quick, filling, flavorful and healthy vegetarian dish, a perfect pantry dish for a weeknight dinner—but you won’t feel like you’ve just thrown something onto the table. The pureed chickpeas and vegetables are rich and filling and the pasta, cooked in the soup, thickens it considerably. If you had some time on your hands and wanted to take it up a notch, you could use dried chickpeas that you cooked yourself and use the chickpea broth or homemade chicken stock (for a delicious non-vegetarian version) in place of the vegetable broth. You could also use water in a pinch, but I personally would then be inclined to smash a whole garlic clove and saute it along with the vegetables for maximum flavor. I used 4 cups Pacific Organic Vegetable broth, 1 cup liquid from the chickpeas, and 1 cup water.

From the first bite to the last, this chickpea and cavatelli soup was phenomenal! And incredibly easy to make. I got great results by following the directions to the letter. I usually like my soups to have some "chew factor" with lots of chunky vegetables, but the half can of chickpeas and the cavatelli pasta took care of that particular craving. I found myself mentioning how delicious this soup was to my family, friends, co-workers, and even to some of the nurses at my doctor's office! I really enjoyed this soup and will definitely make it again to share with others. For anyone trying this recipe, please, do not skip the parsley and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano when serving. I believe this was the most important step of all and really made the rest of the flavors pop. All combined, the ingredients yield something so yummy it will have you smiling with each bite. I used enough fresh rosemary to yield 1/2 teaspoon chopped. Usually recipes taste simply "okay" on leftover day. I can honestly say this is not the case for this chickpea and cavatelli soup. This recipe held up from dinner to lunch and dinner again (single ladies rock!). This recipe yields just the right amount—for a single person, it makes enough meals to last two or three days. It’s also the perfect dinner for two with leftovers for lunch the next day. (I must admit, before this recipe, I’d never eaten a chickpea before and had a difficult time even finding a can of chickpeas at the grocery store. Thank goodness for Google! After a quick online search, I headed home with a can of garbanzo beans—aka chickpeas. I figured I wouldn’t like the recipe, but I was oh so wrong!)

#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


  1. This looks delicious! However, I’m wondering where you found the definition of “cavatelli.”
    My grandparents came from Calabria and I grew up eating homemade cavatelli, a potato, egg and flour dumpling that I learned to make from my grandmother, which I later learned was referred to as “gnocchi” by most people. I’m curious why you refer to cavatelli as an eggless semolina dough pasta?

Have something to say?

Then tell us. Have a picture you'd like to add to your comment? Attach it below. And as always, please take a gander at our comment policy before posting.

Rate this recipe!

Have you tried this recipe? Let us know what you think.

Upload a picture of your dish