Pasta e Ceci, a hearty soup with chickpeas

Today I bought thermal underwear, got domestic heating fuel delivered, switch to my winter tires and we had the first snow of the season, can you all sense a theme here? Though it is not technically winter yet, it really does feel like it!
I've have been running around Europe a lot lately, which has been an absolut blast aswell as a tiring time, with very little time to blog. There will be a final trip next week, to Scotland (hence the thermal underwear) before enjoying the end of the year at home.

Though I'm over the board happy to finally go to Scotland, I'm slightly worried about the food. Their national dish, the Haggis, is served in a sheep's stomack, not to mentionned that they invented the "deep-fried Mars bar"... Uhmm, let's see how that will turn out, I'll keep you posted. On that subject I had a great fish and chip in London last week at the Blue Anchor, thanks to my friend Mieke for finding that one! ;)

Let's go back to cooking, tonight was all about feeling a bit warm, and this italian dish works amazingly well. It's a very hearty and thick soup with pastas and chickpeas, I used the recipe from the blog Tasca da Elvira, but did a vegetarian version of it. Like all good recipes, this one can be adapted to your taste, and warm you up from the inside out!

Pasta e Ceci

Serves 2

1 Onion
3 Cloves of Garlic
1 Carrot
1/4 of Celery Root
400gr of Chickpeas (I used canned ones)
1 Liter of Vegetable Broth
2 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste
2 Bay Leaves
100gr of Pasta (I used Macaroni)
Rosmarin and Thym
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil
Fresh Parsley
Freshly Gratted Parmegiano

Diced the onion and garlic, heat up a big pan with some olive oil and add the onion and garlic. Stir for a couple of minutes until soft.

Clean, peel and dice the carrot and celery (you should have the same amount of both) and add them in the pan, keep stiring, at this point you can add the thym, rosmarin and the 2 bay leaves.

In an other pan, heat up the vegetable broth, while you wash the chickpeas thoroughly (again I used canned one, if you use fresh one you'll need to soak them overnight and cook them longer). Add the chickpeas to the big pan with the other vegetables and add half of the broth with the tomato paste, let it cook slowly for 30 minutes.

Take out about 2/3 of the vegetables and set them aside, using a plunging mixer, turn the rest into a creamy soup. Pour the vegetables back into the soup and add the pasta at this point.

Now, like with a risotto, you'll need to stir all the time, adding the broth as you go. The pasta should take a bit longer to cook than what's written on the box, but try and keep them a bit "al dente". Taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper if needed.

Serve immediatly with some fresh parsley and sprinkle some parmegiano on top, enjoy!