This is exactly what your February, post-Superbowl Monday ordered: a quick, hearty, homestyle soup that doubles as a restorative.
This easy soup is also:
- High in protein (16.8 grams per serving)
- Packed with vegetables
- Oil-free option
Sound good? Then grab a pot, because you need to make my Chickpea Pasta e Fagioli, asap!
Use Chickpea Pasta to Make High-Protein Vegan Pasta Fagioli Soup
Pasta e fagioli (literally pasta and beans) is classic Italian comfort food. Recipes vary from one household and region to another, much like American chili, but most have some permutation of chopped vegetables (carrots, onions, celery and garlic) and pureed tomatoes in addition to the beans and pasta
Making the soup grain-free, as well as extra high in protein, is simple as this: use pasta made from chickpea flour in place of traditional pasta!
Chickpea flour pasta is a traditional option in Southern regions of Italy, so using it in pasta e fagioli is a thoroughly authentic choice.
Chickpea pasta is an increasingly easy choice to make, because: (1) multiple brands are making chickpea pasta (e.g., Barilla, Banza, Lensi, Thrive Market, and Tolerant), and (2) it is becoming widely available in supermarkets and superstores (such as Walmart and Target).
Vegan Protein from Beans & Chickpea Pasta
In addition to being grain-free, chickpea pasta has fewer net carbs, more than twice the fiber, and almost twice the protein of regular pastas. And it tastes delicious, too! It’s a no-brainer if you are trying to get more protein from plant-based dishes.
The other major soure of protein is, naturally, the beans (this time in their traditional bean form :)).
I use two cans of butter beans. Butter beans are large lima beans. You may not have noticed them, but they are right there with all of the other beans. I like them for thier creamy, firm texture, but you can also use white beans (e.g., cannellini, Great Northern) or light red kidney beans can also be used.
Ingredients for High-Protein Vegan Pasta Fagioli Soup
The exact amounts of each ingredient are indicated in the recipe card at the end of the post.
- Onion, chopped
- Salt & pepper
- Smidge of oil for sautéing (or sub with water)
- Canned crushed tomatoes
- Dried Italian herb seasoning
- Canned butter beans or white beans, drained and rinsed
- Small elbow chickpea pasta (see notes in recipe card for options)
Step by Step Instructions
Note that the complete directions are also in the recipe card below.
Step One: Drain, Rinse & Mash Beans
Drain and rinse the beans, then coarsely mash HALF of them.
Mashing half of the beans accelerates the thickening of the soup, making it taste like it has been cooking for hours, rather than minutes.
Step Two: Saute the Vegetables
In a medium saucepan, sauté the carrots, onion and celery for 5 to 6 minutes in oil (or water, for oil-free version) until softened. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute longer.
Step Three: Add Liquid Ingredients
Add the tomatoes, water, and dried herbs to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 15 minutes.
Step Four: Add the Pasta and Beans
Stir in the beans and pasta and cook for 10 to 12 minutes more, or until the pasta is tender.
Step Five: Adjust the Seasonings
Adjust the seasonings to taste, sprinkle with some (optional) chopped parsley, and dinner is served!