Chickpea Soup with Pasta and Pesto
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 x 400g/14oz can chickpeas (garbanzos)
1.2 litres/2 pints/5 cups hot vegetable stock
1 x 400g/14oz can tomatoes
2 courgettes (zucchini), diced
75g/3oz small soup pasta
225g/8oz baby spinach leaves
salt and ground black pepper
6 tsp green pesto
grated Parmesan to serve
1 Heat the oil in a large pan set over a low heat. Add the onion, celery and garlic and cook gently for 5 minutes or until softened but not coloured.
2 Add the chickpeas with their liquid, the hot stock and tomatoes. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 40 minutes.
3 Add the courgettes and peas. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
4 Add the pasta and simmer for about 8 minutes until the pasta is just tender but not mushy. Stir in the spinach. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5 Ladle the hot soup into warmed serving bowls and top with a spoonful of pesto. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and serve immediately.