I’ve called this recipe summery not only because it is easy to make and satisfying without being too filling — if you resist the temptation to go for a second bowl — but because it has a fresh colorful vibrancy in taste and appearance that comes from cooking with fresh herbs from my garden and fresh local summer produce. While salads are often preferred during the hot months, I enjoy soups all year round. This also happens to be a new favorite vegetable soup and I’m certain this will be a staple on the menu, no matter the time of year.
The texture of this soup is phenomenal. Each bite is a different taste experience. Tangy tomatoes make for a lightly spiced and herby broth, and the buttery soft chickpeas, along with some quinoa pasta, fresh garden peas that pop in your mouth, and some diced carrot make up the rest of the bowl along with the fresh herbs. My only regret is that I did not double the recipe as it makes for a nice lunch or starter or side for dinner. Serve it up with some crusty bread if you like, but I enjoyed the soup just as is — it’s that good.
Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Stir in the pasta and cook until tender according to the package instructions — about 10 minutes depending on the type of pasta used. Stir often. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid, and rinse the pasta in cold water. Set aside.
Heat the oil over medium heat in a medium or large saucepan. When hot, add the onion to the pot and sauté for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the carrot and sauté for another few minutes. Now add the garlic and chilies, and continue to sauté for another minute.
Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric and amchoor powder if using, stir for another minute, and then add the tomato. Simmer for a few minutes and then add the herbs and 1 1/4 cups of the reserved pasta cooking liquid. Simmer for another few minutes and then add the peas. Simmer for another 3 to 4 minutes, and then add the chickpeas and pasta. Simmer for another 5 to 7 minutes, adding more water if necessary to achieve desired consistency.
Season with salt and pepper and serve with crusty bread or just as is. It’s wonderful served at room temperature or slightly warmed. I sprinkled the bowl with some nutritional yeast, but feel free to sprinkle some fresh grated Parmesan overtop if you enjoy cheese.