29 February 2020

Porcini Mushroom & Black Chickpea Soup

Rich, savoury porcini mushroom broth with black chickpeas, tenderstem broccoli, pasta and a hint of chili. This is a great weekend soup - soak the chickpeas the night before, then there's just a little active cooking time before the soup is left to simmer and the chickpeas to soften. The pasta and tenderstem are added in the last few minutes of the cooking time, for that perfect texture.

The weather in the UK has been a little crazy recently - rain, strong winds, snow and then back to sunny again in the same afternoon. This soup is the perfect winter warmer, it's hearty, nourishing, absolutely packed with flavour and is perfect to feed a crowd.

Depending on where you are in the world black chickpeas may be a little hard to find, mine were brought back by an Italian friend, but don't fret - you can use regular chickpeas too. Black chickpeas are slightly nuttier than regular and contribute to the rich, mushroomy colour of the sauce, so if you use regular your soup will just be a little lighter in colour. The pasta shape I went for is mezzi rigatoni - ridged tubes of pasta that the little chickpeas can hide inside - other tube shapes or even something like orechiette would also work well. 

This soup is packed with nutrition too - chickpeas are an excellent source of protein and fibre, contributing to muscle maintenance and a healthy digestive system. They are also a great source of iron for red blood cell formation and folate - for our blood, energy and DNA formation. Tenderstem broccoli contributes so many nutrients too - it's incredibly rich in vitamin K - which plays a role in blood clotting, as well as regulating blood calcium levels and vitamin C too, which boosts iron absorption, is essential for growth and repair of tissue and also benefits our immune system.

Porcini Mushroom & Black Chickpea Soup | Serves: 4-5 | Prep time: 20 mins (+ overnight soaking) | Cook time: 2 hours

You'll need

  • Large bowl
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Large saucepan/stew pot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Ladle
  • Measuring cups & spoons


  • 1 cup dried black chickpeas (sub: regular dried chickpeas)
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 sticks celery
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 10 sage leaves
  • 1.5L water
  • 1 cup dried porcini mushrooms
  • 6 bay leaves
  • Juice 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 200g pasta tubes, I used mezzi rigatoni
  • 200g tenderstem broccoli
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast


  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight in a large bowl, with plenty of water covering them. Drain and give them a quick rinse before using.
  2. Heat the saucepan on a medium heat, then add a splash of olive oil. Peel and dice the onion and add to the pan, moving around so it doesn't colour too much, cook for about 5 minutes. 
  3. Mince the garlic and finely chop the celery and add to the pan, cook for a further 5-10 minutes, until the veg has cooked down. Chop the rosemary and sage and add to the pan along with the thyme, stir around the pan then add the water, soaked chickpeas, dried mushrooms, bay leaves, lemon juice, chili flakes, a very generous pinch or two of salt, a crack of fresh black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
  4. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for 1-1.5 hours, until the chickpeas are tender. Check regularly to ensure there's plenty of water in the pan, topping up little by little if required and also tasting to ensure the seasoning level is to your liking, adding extra salt if required.
  5. Once the chickpeas are 99% cooked, add the pasta and cook for 6-7 minutes, then slice the tenderstem into 3 and add this for the last few minutes of cooking. The water should be about 2 inches above the level of the pasta and broccoli, so add a splash more if you need to. 
  6. Just before serving, stir in the nutritional yeast and check for seasoning, adjusting as required.
  7. Serve up in bowls, with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of chili flakes and a little black pepper and enjoy!

Cassidy xx